“I really hope no-one uses this as a profound, introductory quote on their website one-day, because it means pretty much fuck all. I don’t solve ALL your problems.”

Jesus “The” Christ



Wise words from Jesus there, I think you’ll agree.

Click here for the MAIN MENU

Welcome to my website: part vanity project, part unwarranted self-promotion, part stops me drifting towards my natural inclination for murder. I hope you’ll find something in these pages that makes you laugh, or leak some description of bodily fluids. If not, jog on. No hard feelings. There’s a plentiful supply of porn and pictures of ‘funny’ cats out there just for you.

Independence: are we sick of it already?


A common complaint I heard from undecided voters in the early days of the independence debate was that nobody from either side was engaging with them. “Well,” they’d say haughtily, “Nobody’s sat down and told me why I should vote for them.”

What did they expect? Alex Salmond coming round their house with a change of clothes and a bottle of whisky? “I’m supposed to be at a rally tonight, missus, but screw that, me and you all the way. Right, I’ll do the first bit, and then Sean Connery’s coming round about half-ten to finish off. (clears throat) Now, we begin in 1270, on the day Mel Gibson was born…”

That’s if Salmond doesn’t get thrown off his stride by Clegg and Cameron rolling up outside the house in a tank, trailed by hordes of Labour voters, UKIPers and holidaying Ulster Unionists, while Alistair Darling hollers into a megaphone: “Step away from the voter, Salmond, you podgy porridge-eating separatist, she belongs to us now!”

Heaven forfend we should actually have to seek out, read, research, listen, watch, discuss, think or evaluate. In no other sphere of our lives do we expect answers to fall into our laps, or be spoon-fed the motivation to participate in a process. When you’re booking a holiday you readily accept that you’ll have to work and research to get the best deal. You don’t expect a phone call like this:

“Hello, Mrs McGlinchy, this is Turkey. I just wondered if we could count on your support this holiday season? I’ve also got some statistics here which prove unequivocally that Sunny Beach is a fucking shithole.”

“Huh. I’m surprised you’ve got the cheek to phone. Last time I holidayed with you I couldn’t concentrate on my Jackie Collins for all that prayer racket five times a day. Do you think you could ask them to give it a rest – at least for the first two weeks in July? Oh, hang on, got to go… that’s Spain on Call Waiting…”

I know, I know, political campaigners regularly carry out door-to-door and telephone canvassing so that analogy isn’t perfect, but you take my point, right? You wouldn’t rely solely on canvassing to help make up your mind on an issue, would you? You wouldn’t refuse to find the facts for yourself and instead sit in a vegetative stupor on the off-chance that somebody was going to hand you a piece of paper with THE ANSWERS on it. (“I’m no’ deciding anything till there’s a chap on that door. And if it’s a Halloween guiser, then I guess I’ll be votin’ Dracula this year, eh?”) I certainly hope not. In any case, I’ve always believed that canvassing’s more about having a greater number of troops on the ground to gain a psychological advantage over the enemy, rather than a genuine attempt to sway the undecided or win converts through talk.

A genius comedy character invented by the Better Together campaign.

A genius comedy character invented by the Better Together campaign.

The debate is now thundering towards its climax, and you can’t lift a newspaper, switch on the TV, or round a corner without encountering a YES or a NO. Whatever the result on Thursday, what’s happening now is a bona fide democratic miracle. Scottish people are talking and organising and debating and enthusing in a way I haven’t witnessed in my lifetime. And what do we hear from the people who before had complained of a lack of engagement? That they’re bored of it all. Now that they possess all of the information they could possibly need or want… they don’t want it. Let’s start the chant:

“What do we want?”


“When do we want it?”


In our modern age of 24-hour rolling news and social-media saturation we’ve become too used to news stories having a three-day care-by-date. I dare say that even if a nuke were to wipe out 9/10 of civilisation on a Monday, everyone would be sick of hearing about it by the Wednesday. I find it desperately sad that although Thursday’s referendum is the most important political event in our country’s modern history, already a large number of people are wishing they could just be left in peace to watch Big Brother. (While Big Brother watches us.)

It’s a good job we didn’t have such short attention spans, or indeed Facebook, in days gone by, else we might have seen a few social-media status updates like these ones:

“OMG Patty Hurst or sumthin has thrown herself under a horse. Am I da only one that’s soooo over it? Neeiiiiiggghhhh thanks, lov e!!! Lol!”

“So yoove got to give up yer seat on the bus? BFD. Getting bored of this now… shurrupaboutit! Yoove got speshal buses for YOORSELVES anyway, so get on dem!! Or walk, it’s betta 4 u anyway, lazy!!”

“So da Nazis have aressted yoor family and karted them off in da train?… YAWN CITY! Cheeseus, does evryfing have to be about politicks these days?”

Please don’t weary of one of the most important discussions, debates and decisions in modern Scottish history. This is a great thing. It’s not a fad: it’s a movement, and one that will have an influence upon every single facet of your life wherever it takes us. There’s no such thing as talking about it too much.

If it helps, just think of the independence movement as a giant picture of your own dinner.

Ice Bucket Challenge: Worthy or Worthless?

iceAnd so, as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge speedily recedes from relevance, what legacy does it leave behind? When a 74-year-old Joey Essex resurrects its memory in a far-future edition of I Love 2014, what will he say about it? (After he’s said ‘I fot they growed ice on them special trees on Christmas Island,’ of course) Was the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ the clever and timely application of viral-marketing techniques to a worthy but overlooked charitable cause, or was it merely a case of our collective narcissism running amok on social media?

The roots of the challenge lie in the #Nomakeupselfie and Necknomination crazes that swept the internet earlier this year. #Nomakeupselfie convinced millions of women to post pictures of themselves on Facebook and Twitter along with the caption, ‘OMG, I look awfool without ma make-up’, quickly followed by a million comments saying, ‘don b silly huni, yoo luke gorgious’, even though they didn’t. Whatever you thought of the campaign, £8 million was raised for Cancer Research UK in six days.

Necknomination involved necking/downing/inhaling large pints, yards and buckets of booze, and posting a video of it on Facebook. You then nominated another would-be guzzler, and the process repeated itself ad infinitum. Or at least ad untileveryonegotsickofit-itum. The Necknomination craze wasn’t for anything: it was just a laugh (for ‘a laugh’ read ‘execrable’). It proved that people were willing to do anything as long as they were told to do it by a video on Facebook. (Ahmadinejad take note: the time is right for the ‘Inform on Your Neighbours Challenge’.)

The Ice Bucket Challenge stood on the shoulders of these two viral phenomena, learning how to make money from one, and how to excite the masses from the other. Yes, the challenge played to our vanity – and perhaps not everyone who participated gave a second thought to ALS – but it resulted in ALS receiving around 36 times its normal rate of donations. (Not to mention the boon to Macmillan and a whole host of other charities, including Water Aid. And let’s not forget that not a single pound or penny had to be spent on advertising.)

I can see why a viral campaign that entreats people to chuck litres of life-giving water over themselves might seem like a slap in the face to our African brethren, which is why it’s almost inexcusable that for my Ice Bucket challenge I nominated an entire village of Saharan Bedouins. In my defence, I’m Scottish and the concept of ‘not enough water’ is alien to me.

We certainly shouldn’t be encouraged to believe that throwing buckets of water over ourselves makes us heroes. In an ideal world we and our governments would work together to eradicate all social, political and somatic ills, and usher in a new utopia. But let’s get real: by and large we’re a horrible species: self-important parakeets preening in a mirror; indifferent to suffering – other people’s at any rate. If, occasionally, we can be tricked through a mass event into doing something nice, then I guess that’s okay.

New TV Shows This Autumn 2014


25 Years to Life on Mars

In 2013, BBC producer Sam Tyler is the victim of a vicious didgeridoo attack, and wakes up on the ground outside the BBC studios in 1973, with Jonathan King’s cock in his mouth. Walking into the BBC Studios is like walking into a different world. Is camel-coat wearing, cigar-puffing Director General Geney Savile all he seems? And if his new guv’s on the level, then why does he keep patting his arse, winking at him and calling him a nonce? And why does Savile have a yew tree potted up in his office? The only man Sam feels he can trust is Bruce Forsyth… but for how long?

savileIs Sam insane, back in time, or in a coma? Is he even a BBC producer? Every time Sam passes a TV set he sees an image of his younger self lying unconscious on a hospital gurney, with Cliff Richard singing songs at his bedside. Allegedly.

Features a cracking soundtrack by Gary Glitter.

Brew Peter

An informative lifestyle magazine show for young adults on the dole. Ever wondered how to draft that perfect letter to an employer that will guarantee you’ll never get hired? Also, Richard Bacon reveals the secret of how you can use a strip of sticky-back plastic to secure your bags of blow to the underside of hard-to-reach places. Perfect for evading the filth! And discover a brilliant use for all of those empty Kit Kat wrappers you don’t need any more. Each week, viewers send in their crayon-drawn portraits of Margaret Thatcher, which are set on fire by an angry man dressed as a miner.

Crystal Meth Maze

methA group of toothless, stinking tramps in vests run around the many zones of the Crystal Meth Maze – Up the Graveyard, The Underpass, Big Tam’s Hoose, The Swingpark and Down the Docks – taking part in timed challenges to get their hands on those coveted Crystals. Watch with glee as they compete in games like forced prostitution without protection, bare-knuckle fighting with their best friends for the amusement of strangers, stealing from their families, and selling their own internal organs to the Chinese. What a laughriot. With Richard O’Dien.

Ice Bucket Challenge: The Movie (sort of)

Hello folks

In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, here is my attempt at the Ice Bucket Challenge. With a plot and everything. Big thanks go to my mate for his directorial expertise. Donation made to Cancer Research. It’s all about the charity… no really, it is. I really mean that.


Jesus Loves You – That’s the Problem


Letter from a friend? Letter from a terrifying stalker, more like. Is this letter supposed to bring me comfort? Really? It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to find under your pillow alongside a dead rat. A dead rat with blood-red lipstick smeared over its hellishly contorted face, and a message carved into its side with a stanley knife: “This how yoo mayk MEE pheel!”

And what in God’s name is Jesus – a God, the God – doing wasting his time on the indifference of one obliviously happy mammal while the whole world around Him echoes with the yelps and cries of the suffering of millions? Wait… shhhhhh. Shhhh. Do you hear that noise? That, my friends, is the sound of a malnourished East African child’s recently-deceased cheek thudding into the hot desert dust; Jesus could’ve saved him, but presumably he was too busy skulking around Scottish forests, jumping out at people from behind trees, and going, ‘WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU LOVE ME, OPEN ANOTHER FUCKING VEIN??!’

It’s nice that Jesus/God takes a non-interventionist stance on things like genocide and torture (“Well, you know me, Archangel Gabriel, I really don’t like to interfere.”), but doesn’t appear to mind sticking his beak in when he’s feeling a bit mopey and sorry for himself. No lightning bolts to fry those who rape and beat children, but rainbows all round for all the underwhelmed, non-plussed cunts of the world who’re just trying to get to work on time – and couldn’t give a jumping jackhammer for Jesus. That makes Jesus angry… and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

No, this note does not indicate the behaviour of a benevolent and omnipotent deity; this note indicates the behaviour of a psychopathically jealous ex-partner who’s wearing a moustache made from bits of your hair he’s snipped from your head while you were sleeping. Having read this puke-inducing letter, you’ve got to believe that Jesus getting himself put on that cross two-thousand years ago was nothing more than a cry for attention from the universe’s biggest sulk.

I can see the FBI shaping a serial-killer’s profile from this note:

This is a man with grandiose ideas far out of touch with reality. He exhibits extreme narcissism, illustrated by the way in which he capitalises the word ‘Me’. Through his use of language, Jesus reveals a deeply entrenched God-complex.

We can speculate that in his childhood he was prone to violent bouts of rage, and may have committed anti-social acts such as flooding the entire earth’s surface and murdering millions of people. He may also have experimented with turning people into pillars of salt. Almost certainly he pissed the bed until he was 13.

Remember the Old Testament? Same dude, different beard. God was a total shit in the Old Testament, and I think that only makes his persona in the New Testament seem more sinister (remember ‘New’ Labour?). Jesus makes me nervous, like he’s an old gangster that says he’s gone straight, but you’re never quite sure: “I used to slice a mug’s fingers off just for lookin’ at me funny; now I bladdy love puppies, my san.” You know, a crazy glint in his eye that suggests he could go off on one at any minute. Perhaps, then, he’s more like a violent husband that’s trying to schmooze back into his ex’s good books: “Look, I know I got angry and wiped out a whole country with an earthquake when you forgot to close the fridge door that day, but that was the old me. I’ve changed, I really have… I promise…” Yeah, right, Jesus, pull the other one, mate! Jesus is Trevor, and we’re a planetful of Little Mo’s. And if it’s niceness you’re claiming, let’s not forget that Ted Bundy worked on the Samaritans’ switchboard. 

Creepier still, Jesus ends his ‘From a Friend’ letter by saying that he wants you to meet his Dad. But HE’S his own Dad. What next, Jesus? Discount coupons for a two-night stay at the Bates’ Motel?

Anyway, Jesus really freaked the fuck out of me with this one, so I’m busy drafting the text for a restraining order:

Jesus Horace Christ, you are prohibited from being within 30m of Mr Andrew, at all times and for any reason. This is in response to recent events, including:

Following Mr Andrew and his friends around the local park. You shadowed them on a parallel path behind the trees, intermittently breaking cover to blow in Mr Andrew’s face, and blind him and his friends with direct sunlight.

Breaking into Mr Andrew’s house in the dead of night. Mr Andrew said he opened one eye to find you sitting in a chair next to his bed. Your arm was outstretched and your fingers were approximately five inches from his face. You were crying, and mumbling to yourself: ‘I just want to touch you.’ You then opened the curtains and flooded the room with moonlight, muttering to yourself about DVDs of yours that were still in Mr Andrew’s possession. Mr Andrew was awake but was so terrified that he pretended to be asleep, hoping that you would leave the house of your own volition.


Folks, be afraid… be very afraid: Jesus loves you.

In Heaven, no one can hear you scream.





Pet Cemetery

butchIf you’ve ever had a pet, then you’re intimately acquainted with death – especially if you grew up with one.  This piece you’re reading now (as opposed to a completely different piece you may once have read six years ago) is about having pets, loving pets and losing pets, with a few detours along the way to incorporate things like the Rat Jesus, inter-species murder and mafia slayings. I lost four of my pets this year. Three rats and a dog. This is their tribute, delivered the only way I know how: not very well. 

Paddy’s Troubles

One of our first family pets was a budgie called Paddy; he lived during the height of The Troubles, and he was blue. I’d like to think that the act of naming him was some sort of artistic comment on the futility of Scottish sectarianism, but it’s possible that my mum was just racist, and had to fall back on her second choice of offensive racial nickname after Sambo was vetoed.

This isn't Paddy. But who gives a shit? They all look the same.

This isn’t Paddy. But who gives a shit? They all look the same.

Anyway, Paddy didn’t live long enough to have much of an impact on global race relations, as he was tragically murdered. Who’s your number one suspect? A cat, right? Tsk tsk. You bigoted cattist. And don’t even think about telling me that all of your best friends are cats. No, you feline fascist, the perp wasn’t a cat; although in your defence history does tell us that cats and small birds have been mortal enemies since time immemorial (Bros, Warner., 1963, Sylvester & Tweetie Pie). As far as rivalries go it’s a bit of a one-sided enmity (kind of like the rivalry between the sun and asteroids), and, yes, I’m willing to concede that the cat’s usually the aggressor. What I’m saying is, I can understand the root assumption from which your flagrant cattism sprouts. But you’re wrong, friend. Paddy didn’t meet his maker at the jaws and claws of a cunning cat: he died a statistical anomaly, having been snuffed out by an over-excited dog. What a twist.

The dog came bounding into our house with its visiting owner at the same time as Paddy was enjoying one of his brief periods of liberation, free from his cage and happily toddling and hopping about the living room floor. The spaz-tongued, slobbering beast pulled free from its owner’s grip, hurtled in to the living room, and gave our feathery little fella the gift of a massive and fatal heart-attack – as I suppose creatures fifty times the size of you are want to do. A little while later, after the requisite period of budgie mourning (two hours and eleven minutes) we got Paddy II. A little truer to expectations, Paddy II was skillfully – and lovingly – eviscerated by our first cat.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the family declined the option of a Paddy III. As my mother put it: “I’m not having a bloody horse coming in and trampling this one to death.” Also, my mother well knew that the final installment of any trilogy is usually the shittest. She’s right… isn’t she… Spider Man 3? Stop your smirking, Godfather 3, you’re next!

We're so weird as a species that we even keep pets inside giant pets.

We’re so weird as a species that we even keep pets inside giant pets.

I think it’s weird that we keep pets (especially fish. They’re excruciatingly boring. You might as well keep a brick as a pet). Sometimes I look down at my pet cat as it brushes against my leg and think, ‘How did this happen? This is surreal. Why is this four-legged creature living in my house?’ You could argue that keeping a pet is a ridiculous, pointless and incredibly wasteful act. Look after your own genes, or the genes of another of your species: don’t invest your time in the well-being of a creature that shits in a box and licks its own arsehole. Sure, you could argue that case. I’d counter that our ability to indulge in these seemingly pointless acts of nurturing might just be one of the more important stitches in the patchwork-quilt of our humanity.

Having a pet can teach you about compassion and selflessness. It can also, as I’ve glibly demonstrated, teach you about death. Perhaps, in a strange way, we’re nothing but masochists. Owning a pet is like saying: ‘I don’t believe that I’ve been subjected to quite enough in the way of human loss and agony. I’d quite like to experience grief and heartache through a variety of different species, please.’

In a world crammed with suffering, the greater share of which happens unseen or unimagined by mankind – i.e. the never-ending reclamation of flesh as carbon through tooth and claw – why do we desire to bring a proportion of that invisible suffering into sharp focus by ensnaring an animal, developing feelings for it and then observing it as it gradually dies before our very eyes? What a curious species we are. In this year alone, during which I’ve wept not a centiliter of ocular fluid for a single fallen human at home or abroad, I’ve cried genuine tears of grief over the bodies of three rats and a dog.

This piece you’re reading serves as both obituary and commemoration for four special creatures that were plucked from their ancestral destinies within the animal kingdom’s brutal pyramid, and placed – plump and cosseted – upon a man-made pedestal. And loved with a deepness not often seen between two different species outside of underground German movies from the early 1980s.

So RIP, you wonderful, fun-filled, furry little fuckers. I’ll always remember you. You may have spent most of your time eating, shitting, pissing and sleeping, but, collectively and individually, you still lived more worthwhile lives than the cast of Geordie Shore.


1 2 3 4 5 6

Biggest TV Disappointments of 2013: The Following


Kevin Bacon should be commended for his savvy in snapping up the lead role in this bold, brutal, and exhilarating piece. Yes, the production values are high, the dialogue is crisp and knowing, and visually it’s slick and vibrant, but make no mistake: Bacon’s the real star here. Everything is lifted to another level by the power of his performance; every second he’s on screen reminds us why this talented actor deserves his place at the top of the A-list. In a word: unmissable. 

You’re confused, aren’t you? Here you are expecting me to be giving The Following a ruddy good thrashing – pants down, six of the best – and yet here I am lavishing praise on the bugger. Well, not exactly. In actual fact, the paragraph above has nothing whatsoever to do with The Following. I was applauding those EE ads Kevin Bacon stars in, which begin to look like a series of mini-Citizen Kanes when set against The Following.

bacon1Remember Kevin Bacon in Sleepers? Remember when he led those boys down to the basement? Well, watching The Following is like being one of those boys. You’ll say to yourself: ‘I don’t know where he’s taking me, or why, but I just know this is going to be an awesome experience! How could it not be? I mean, it’s Kevin Bacon! This is going to be brilliant, just brillia… uh… em… Kevin, what are you doing? WHAT… WHAT are you DOING… Kevin! Kevin?? … KEVI…OW!!… inOWWWWwwwwuuuu…uhm… erm… I think… I think KEVIN BACON just FUCKED me!’

The Following is a piece of dog-shit. It really is: a hot, slimy, sticky, dog-shit sandwich, where even the bread is made out of dog-shit. It’s not a BLT: it’s a BDS. Take a big bite and watch that dog-shit slush down your shirt-front. Rub it in. Take some and smear it in your eyes. Saw open your skull and lather it onto your lobes like it’s some sort of shitty sun-tan lotion. Get someone to flamethrow your head – really flambé that dog-shit. Melt it straight into your skull, scalp and throbbing mind-bollock. Is it excrutiating? Good. That just means it’s working. You’re not done yet, though. Next, let a dog – any dog – lick the disgusting, syrupy, melted, congealed faecal mush from your exposed and infected brain, and then wait for the greedy beast to vomit it all back into your mouth. Ah, drink it in. Gargle with it. Swish that sick-shit around in your gob like it’s Colgate mouth-wash. Mmmmm, feel the chunks in your cheeks. Let them marinate. Then French kiss the dog. Go on, kiss it. Do it! Let its big, slobbery, dog-dick-scented canine tongue investigate your inner-jaw. And why stop there? Fly the dog to Vegas and marry it. Cheat on it with a hooker who’s also a tiger, and then have sex with that slutty tiger – and the dog – live on webcam, and email the footage to your parents. And then – and ONLY then – shoot yourself through the throat. You’ll have a more entertaining evening, I guarantee you.

The Following: not even WHITE dogshit.

The Following: not even WHITE dogshit.

Still determined to enjoy The Following? Be warned: you’ll have to lower your expectations in order to extract even minimal enjoyment from this rancid semen-stain of a show. Did you deduce that? Have I been too subtle thus far? And, people, you won’t have to lower your expectations just a little. You’ll need to lower them so much that eventually your expectations will drop down through the earth’s molten core, pierce through the fabric of time, space and reality, and knock Dante clean into a coma.

In fairness… the first and last episodes aren’t entirely awful. It’s just the bit in the middle that’s agonisingly bad. And that’s over eight hours worth of dog-shit. This really should have been a movie, or at-least a three-part mini-series. Maybe they could have salvaged something. But it isn’t. And they didn’t. All that’s left is a squandered premise and wasted potential, and an idea stretched beyond breaking point.  And that makes me mad. And when I get mad… I do dog-shit analogies in which people fuck tigers. Ggggrrrrrreeeeeaaaaatttttt (‘Kellogg’s on line 1…’)!

What it’s about: The Back-story

Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy.

Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy.

Kevin Bacon plays former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, a retired, alcoholic cliché who has to hunt down escaped convict Joe Carroll, an allegedly charismatic serial killer – and former professor of literature – played by James Purefoy.

Hardy catches Carroll after the depraved don’s first round of brutal serial slayings, but takes a near-fatal knifing to the chest as he arrests him. Hardy’s injuries force him out of the FBI, and he hits the bottle big-time. I know what you’re thinking: a maverick lawman who turns to booze to fight the pain, and doesn’t know if he’s ‘still got it’? Yes. It’s a startlingly original conceit (actually, a lot of novel work can be done with stock characters and familiar scenarios, but in this case…). In a nutshell, life’s a bit shitty and bleak for Ryan, but he does get to pump Carroll’s hot but irritating ex-wife Claire, played by Natalie Zea, so there’s some degree of silver lining to be enjoyed. Unfortunately, he also falls in love with her, the silly boy, which complicates things somewhat.

James Purefoy as Joe Carroll.

James Purefoy as Joe Carroll.

Meanwhile, Joe Carroll, in prison for being a serial killer and all-round bad egg, is busy secretly assembling a cabal of murderous psychopaths, who’ll be on hand to help him escape, and carry out his evil masterplan. The plan, such as it is, involves Carroll winning back his wife and young son (Well, it’s more ‘kidnapping’ than ‘winning back’) and tormenting the living hell out of Ryan Hardy using the aforementioned newly acquired legion of head-cases. Oh, and murdering lots of innocent people as well, obviously. Be rude not to.

Fantastically – and I don’t use that word as a synonym for ‘brilliantly’ – Carroll manages to recruit the bulk of his mental, stabby cultists through the internet… which he has completely unfettered access to… while in prison. Yep. You read that right. He recruits hundreds of killers to his cause, on his computer, in prison, while in prison for murdering lots of women.

GUARD 1: ‘Hey, shall we check this brutal serial killer’s internet history, see who he’s been talking to?’

GUARD 2: ‘Why don’t we just monitor his every move, read all of his mail, lock his door at night, stop him from having blades, and pay close attention to the hundreds of psychotic strangers who visit him every week as well, you fucking Nazi?! Geez, let the guy relax and play some Candy Crush, Hitler!’

OK, he’s got one of the guards on side, but even still…

In addition, both Hardy and Carroll have written and published books: the former, a blow-by-blow account of his investigation into Carroll and the events leading up to his stabbing at the madman’s hands; the latter, a pretentious piece of shit novel that has savagely dark undertones. Ryan Hardy is in fact the subject of Joe Carroll’s difficult second novel, which we discover Joe is writing as a companion to and an account of the horrible shit he does to his nemesis over the course of the show’s first season.

Anyway,  The Following begins nine years after Carroll’s incarceration, at the very moment he escapes from prison.

Why it sucks so hard

1.) Joe Carroll is a Poe-ring Bastard


“Hmmm, I wonder what method I’ll use to kill my agent.”

Joe Carroll has a thing for Edgar Allen Poe. He’s obsessed by the man and his works, and aspires to write fiction of a similar quality; unfortunately, he’s a two-bit, psycho hack, who couldn’t write for RiverCity. He is quite good at killing, though, and with this in mind he resolves to build his cult and its murders around the theme of Edgar Allen Poe. Some of his bampots even wear rubber Poe masks when they’re out on a kill. Now that’s devotion fur ye.

The whole Poe thing’s a nice conceit, but one that gets old far too quickly, and becomes dull even more quickly than that. Luckily, the writers seem to agree, and the idea sort of fizzles out for a while after the first few episodes. You’ll be glad. There’s only so much tenuous, Poe-related cod philosophy you can listen to before you begin to wonder if Drop Dead Diva might’ve been a better choice of box-set.


Couples’ counselling.

We’re supposed to believe that Joe Carroll is the most charismatic man on earth. But he isn’t. He’s smug. And arrogant. And a little bit creepy. His only discernible talent seems to be that he’s a half-decent English teacher. Nothing in the acting or dialogue convinced me that this man could’ve enticed or bewitched a rag-tag assortment of insanely-loyal psychopaths to do his evil bidding. Get them a passing grade on an Edgar Allen Poe test paper? Maybe. But this? Midway through the series, one of his insanely devoted cultists offers himself to Carroll as a human sacrifice, ultimately because he thinks Carroll will have a right laugh stabbing him to death. He’s right! I did, too. I think I was supposed to be shocked, though.

So how does Joe Carroll’s ‘charisma’ work? How does he recruit his army and manage to provoke such slavish, unquestioning devotion in his would-be recruits? Beats me. On the surface of it, he just sort of stares at them intensely and then talks to them in a honeyed, husky whisper for a couple of minutes:

‘So you’re a fan of murdering, and you butchered your own mum? Ach, don’t worry about it, murdering’s cool. Extra points for a family member! Anyway, you’re awesome, and I’m definitely awesome, so how about joining my cult? We’ve got prose and everything, and sometimes we get to talk like we’re in a high-school production of Shakespeare.’

2.) Soap Cra-pera

Awful. I don't even care what their names are.

Awful. I don’t even care what their names are.

Too much of the action focuses on a trio – two guys, one girl – of young, trendy, be-quiffed and coiffured cockbags. After many years spent as dormant ‘sleeper-cultists’ living undercover as Claire Carroll’s neighbours and babysitter, their mission is activated: kidnap Carroll’s kid, and get him to Serial Killer HQ in time for big Joe’s arrival. These three characters are essentially 2-dimensional, knife-wielding haircuts, who seem to exist only to look pretty and spout pseudo-philosophical bullshit about how awesome it is to butcher people. And to shag each other, obviously.

The three losers eventually form a steamy, bisexual love triangle, which proves to be about as entertaining as having experimental groin surgery performed upon you by an angry monkey in the grip of meth withdrawal, and less convincing than Katie Hopkins’ impersonation of a human being. Whenever these three are on screen together The Following becomes like an episode of Hollyoaks Later with slightly shitter dialogue.

3.) Police

"God DAMN it! I can't get past level 358!"

“God DAMN it! I can’t get past level 358!”

OK, I know the stakes are supposed to be high in a policey/slashy/killy show. High stakes that gradually become higher still serve to ramp up the tension; create conflict and suspense; and drive the narrative in an exciting direction that makes the audience want to keep watching. I get that. And if the police were absolutely brilliant at their jobs, then the show would be over in less than an episode:

‘Ha ha ha ha, you’ll never foil my fiendish plans, never, never, NEVERMORE I say, NEVE… {click} Shit.’

Granted, the baddies’ plan is suitably fiendish. There’s an army of sleeper serial-killer cultists out there, drawn from all walks of life, and across the divides of age, race and gender. At the beginning, the good guys have no idea that the cult even exists, and even when they realise what they’re dealing with, they still have no idea how many members it has, or who they might be. They could be anyone: a cop, a prison guard, an FBI agent!

I get all that. But if the police are consistently shown to be about as effective as the Chuckle Brothers armed only with a bag of dead chickens, as they are in The Following, then it quickly destroys your willingness to suspend disbelief. Honestly, the cops don’t win at anything. Not once. Every strategy they adopt fails, everything they say is bull-shit, and everything they do is ball-achingly stupid: ridiculously, incompetently, fatally stupid.

tf10In real life, I’ve seen more and better trained police officers sent to deal with a noise disturbance in my street than The Following’s fictional FBI ever deigned to send in pursuit of a serial killing cult. No-one ever takes back-up with them, and when they do call for back-up, it’s always at-least forty miles away. Jack Bauer would never have found himself in such a sorry situation: no matter where he or his agents were in the world, it only ever took them ten minutes tops to get where they needed to be. Actually, bad comparison, because Jack Bauer never needed back-up at all; a fucking sharp pencil would be good enough back-up for him (I suppose 24 suffered from the opposite problem to The Following: Jack Bauer was too good at his job).

Really, though, it’s as if the police and the FBI have recruited all of their officers from the same pool of people who always die horribly within the first six minutes of a horror film. Considering there’s a cult out there whose members could be anywhere and anyone – essentially making every stranger a suspect – the police seem keen to adopt the curious tactic of suspecting no-one at all. Douchebags.

4.) Ryan Hard-ly

hardyKevin Bacon is a really great actor: Ryan Hardy is a really shit character. He just mopes, broods, and frets his way through the dark, grey, oppressive atmosphere of The Following’s suicidally un-cheerful fictional world. It’s not Bacon’s fault, I suppose. All he did was sign the contract. I hope the cash was worth it, because Ryan Hardy’s merely a poor man’s Jack Bauer. Imagine Jack Bauer with a pacemaker and a drinking problem, and then stop to realise that even with a pacemaker and a drinking problem Jack Bauer would be a hundred times more fun, likeable and interesting than Ryan Hardy – and Bauer kills and tortures people in almost every episode! Come to think of it, although the premises and subject matters are radically different, it feels to me like The Following wants to be a slasher-psych-thriller version of 24 (but without the real-time element, obviously), and fails miserably on all counts. Can you still taste that dog-shit?

And this is before we even delve into Hardy’s reputed ‘death curse’. God, the dialogue is execrable on this show. There’s a scene that shows Hardy in bed delivering a woeful chunk of expository dialogue, in which he reveals that almost every single person in his life has died or been horrifically murdered, a preposterous roll-call of hilarious deaths. It’s supposed to make us sympathise and connect with the character, I suppose, but it only served to make me roll my eyes and snort out a derisory laugh.

‘…and then all I had left was my turtle, Mr Jenkins, but somebody put a pipe-bomb inside him and threw him in my girlfriend’s face…’

The Best Worst Moment

One of Carroll’s acolytes is captured by the FBI. He’s injured, so they sling him in a hospital room, and place him under armed guard. As he lies there awaiting interrogation, the loyal idiot realises that he would rather die than betray his master. He proceeds to kill himself by eating his own bandages, suffocating himself to death with them. I’m guessing the intention was to chill and shock the audience by showing them just how deep and twisted a loyalty Carroll inspires in his sick-ass tribe of psychopaths, but it didn’t have that effect on me. I thought it was funny as fuck.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of this scene from The Simpsons:


The Verdict

Do I really need to sum up this article for you? I don’t think there are any lines to read between here. The Following is shit. But it’s good shit, if you get enjoyment from deliberately watching shit things and then tearing them apart, like I know I do.

So, remarkably, I guess it’s good.

Now THAT’S a twist.

And, in closing…


26 Fun Facts About Me


Fact number 1: Sixteen years ago I was thin, and slept with blow-up dolls.

  • Game of Thrones is loosely based on my life.
  • A lot of people think that my stamp collection is boring. Until they discover that it’s a collection of dismembered hands with night-club stamps on them.
  • I was once gang-raped by a flock of seagulls. Coincidentally, later that same day I quit my hobby of walking around town with chips selotaped to my naked body.
  • My great-grandfather was the first man to discover blinking. Before he came along, people just pure eye-balled each other all day long. That’s how World War I really started.
  • When I was a little boy, my mum quickly came to regret beseeching me to ‘shoot for the stars’, when she caught me on the garage roof with a sniper rifle trained on Mr Motivator.
  • I don’t know what a ‘bus’ is.
  • I wrote a sequel to the dictionary. It was epiflevently gartanstible for its time.
  • My grandfather fought in the All Mute Regiment during World War II, but I never found out until after he died. He didn’t like to talk about it.
  • Dick van Dyke was called Gavin Brown until he lost a bet with me.
  • I was the first one to discover that you can get better than a Kwik Fit Fitter, and, indeed, they’re not to be trusted.
  • I once worked as a funeral planner. At an open casket funeral in 2002, I put a fat corpse inside a specially-modified fridge instead of a coffin. Even though it was a masterpiece, and clearly apt as fuck, they fired me. Whatever. I went on to enjoy great success as a surprise conception planner. Well… that’s how I sold it to the judge, anyway.
  • WWJD actually stands for ‘What Would Jamie Do?’ The answer is simple: he’d blaspheme.
  • I was once briefly employed as a Somalian pirate.
  • I murdered my first hitch-hiker at the age of eight. My mum was furious when she found out. ‘What the fuck were you doing driving my car?’ she said. That was the end of that hobby. THANKS FOR NOTHING, MUM, YOU SELFISH BASTARD!! I tried my best to keep up the killing, but it was a lot trickier to dispatch victims when I was giving them a backie.
  • It was my idea to break up the former Yugoslavia when I was 11. I just didn’t like it.
  • My ejaculate tastes like mince and potatoes.
  • I scrawled my first novel into my mother’s placenta. It was called ‘askjhewbxdamadaasada.’
  • I once appeared in a vision to Derek Acorah, and told him what an arsehole he was.
  • When I was at primary school, I got six teachers pregnant. And two of them were male. I used to write ‘See ME after class’ on my jotters before handing them over. Because of that I ended up in The Guinness Book of Records as the world’s first adultophile.
  • Daniel O’Donnell once touched me here, here and here.
  • When I was young, my mum would black me up and make me go on stage to sing Al Jolson songs. It could’ve been a great career, but, sadly, illness got in the way. Every time she got the boot polish out I’d start crying, shouting, and shaking. The doctor diagnosed a serious case of pre-minstrel tension.
  • I had a recurring role in Eastenders, from 1993 to 2010, as the bust of Queen Victoria that sits in the pub.
  • I was once clinically dead for seven years.
  • I lost my virginity to the Queen Mother. She went to her grave not knowing this.
  • There used to be three Krankies, but I killed one of them.
  • My favourite hobby is whittling the faces of future victims onto chair legs. Wanking’s a close second, though.
  • I invented AIDS. It was only supposed to cull monkeys.
  • Michael Caine is named after me. Nobody at all knows that.
  • I can’t count to 26.

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2013 – Director’s Cut

Here’s a link to John Lewis’s 2013 Christmas advert, if you haven’t seen it.

John Lewis Christmas advert

Pretty good effort, John Lewis, but I can make the ending better. You want drama? Heart-ache? You’ve fucking got it.

johnlewisOK, this is what happens. The bear waddles out from hibernation. He makes his way down the snowy hill to be with his best pal, the hare and – oh my God… Christmas… and all my friends… and… and a big tree… and OH MY GOD, I’M SO OVERWHELMED WITH AWE AND EXCITEMENT, this is literally AMAZING – just then, a hunter steps out from the forest, takes aim with his rifle and shoots the bear through the back of the skull. BANG! A FOUNTAIN OF BLOOD! The bear’s dead body thumps down onto the snow, and an oil-slick of red quickly spreads over the white landscape. The owl is so freaked out by the gun-shot that primal instinct takes over. The owl swoops into flight, and heads straight for the hare, digging his sharp talons into the hare’s back, and snatching him up into the air. The hare’s too heavy, though, and the owl can’t cope with the burden, so he releases him earthward. The owl, snapping out of his fugue, and finding himself racked with grief and shame, heads straight for a tree trunk, and slams his revolving head into it at full speed. SNAP! He’s DEAD. At the same time, the hare tumbles and hurtles towards the ground like a cannon-ball, and lands – with a sickening crack – right  on top of the hunter’s head, killing the human instantly. The hare is alive – but only just. The hare rolls and rolls and rolls, his legs broken, his neck twisted, rolling and rolling down the snow, until he comes to a stop not too far from his dead pal’s giant slack-jawed body. The bear’s big dry tongue rests lifelessly on the cold, cold snow. The hare struggles to breathe. As the life drains from him, he looks into the bear’s wide, dead eyes, and starts to cry. The guilt is killing him as surely as his injuries. His best friend, the big gentle bear – thought the hare – would’ve been safe in his cave until spring, if only he’d kept his fucking mouth shut about poxy bloody Christmas.

‘It… was… my fault,’ he says. ‘I’m…sorry… old friend. The worst… thing is… Christmas… is shite anyway…’ Then he dies. And a caption flashes up on the screen:


Then there’s an enormous nuclear explosion, killing everyone – man and animal – within a 60-mile radius.

Get filming it, John Lewis. And I want my cut.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Terrorist Suspects Evade Authorities

Two TPIM suspects (pictured) have evaded government anti-terrorism officers by dressing as women. Spooks spotted the pair entering a haunted fairground, and set up surveillance. A few minutes later, the pair re-emerged dressed as a pair of sexy women, and managed to give the team the slip. It is believed that one of the suspects, Mr Somali Doo (right), distracted officers by blowing kisses and batting his eyelids, whilst the other, Mr Shaggy Khan, presented the team with flowers and a box of chocolates shaped like a love-heart. Police believe the pair could now be posing as anything from barbers to chefs, and ordered citizens to be on their guard.

Two TPIM suspects (pictured) have evaded government anti-terrorism officers by dressing as women. Spooks spotted the pair entering a haunted fairground, and set up surveillance. A few minutes later, the pair re-emerged dressed as a pair of sexy women, and managed to give the team the slip. It is believed that one of the suspects, Mr Somali Doo (right), distracted officers by blowing kisses and batting his eyelids, whilst the other, Mr Shaggy Khan, presented the team with flowers and a box of chocolates shaped like a love-heart. Police have issued a warning to the public that both suspects are masters of disguise, and could now be posing as anything from barbers to French chefs.

Yer ‘avin a giraffe!

There’s a tribal leader living with his people in some forgotten corner of a rain forest somewhere, and even he’s just changed his profile picture to a fucking giraffe. For those of you blissfully unaware of the ‘phenomenon’, here is the message to which Facebookers the world over have been responding:







A few things…

1) If my parents decided to pop along for breakfast at 3am, I’d only be opening one thing: ‘FIRE.’ Or Google, so I could find the telephone number for the nearest 24-hour mental home. Seriously, whose parents turn up at their house with a fucking picnic at three in the morning? Hearing from your parents that early in the morning usually means that somebody close to you has died, and in those circumstances jam is rarely necessary.

Imagine if you heard this being hollered up at you from the street below: ‘JAMIE! IT’S YOUR MUM! YOUR AUNTIE MARGARET HAS DIED! DO YOU FANCY A CROISSANT?’

2) The riddle is so easy to solve that having to post a picture of a giraffe as your avatar is far too lenient a punishment. As penance for being a drooling idiot you should have to post a profile picture of yourself naked with dead flies selotaped all over your body, and a wet dollop of your own fetid excrement smeared o’er your smiling face. That’ll teach you for being so stupid, you giraffe arsehole.

3) This whole thing – the popularity and simplicity of this giraffe-based chain-riddle – makes me highly suspicious. I’ll bet some cunning criminal mastermind has uploaded tonnes of virus-infected giraffe JPGs to the internet, and he’s currently using them to steal every password, pin-number and piece of personal information from Portsmouth to Pyongyang. Have a good long look into the eyes of your innocent Facebook giraffe, my friend, because the long-necked cunt is in the process of selling your bank account details to the Chinese mafia.  It’s got to be a scam. It HAS to be, or else there’s no point at all in this orgasm of inanity that’s shuddering its way through the internet. I’ll say this, though: if this is a grand criminal scam then its architect has created nothing less than a giraffesterpiece. And I’ve invented one fucker of a new word.

4) This has been reported in the news. The NEWS? Are you kidding me? Do you know how many rapes, robberies, coups, killings and scientific breakthroughs have gone unreported today? Trevor MacDonald will be spinning in his grave (some feat, considering he’s still alive). If the words ‘giraffe’ and ‘Facebook’ popped up on his auto-cue he’d rip off his shirt and start howling like a wolf. The ‘And finally…’ segment of the ITN News would be Sir Trev being subdued by security as he tried to smash apart the auto-cue machine with his head.

5) Why can’t I just lighten up and let people enjoy some innocent giraffe fun? Because I CAN’T. OK? There is a small silver lining, I suppose. At least people aren’t changing their profile pictures to an incredibly tired Bill Cosby kicking an unemployed Asian man to death.

6) If you really must be a class-A douchebag and change your profile picture to a giraffe, use one of these:













Say What, Momma?

mawOf all the things you might expect to hear your mum say to you as you walk into her house, this probably isn’t even in the top 500: ‘Are you here because of the murder?’

I had no idea what she was talking about. It was rather easier to predict what she would say next, and indeed she didn’t disappoint my expectations: ‘There’s been a murrrrdddeeeeerrrrrrr,’ she said, followed by a chuckle; a chuckle that seemed to say, ‘That’s a cracker, that one. Bet no-one’s ever said that after a murder before.’

According to my mum, a man had been stabbed to death in a local pub a mere mile from her house and had then staggered a few hundred yards down the road to his house, whereupon he promptly died. Her source for this information? Twitter: the cyberspace equivalent of a gossiping conga line stretching across a billion tenement back-fences. Fuck you, Reuters! By the time the story had been banded about the kitchen a few times, the villages of Polmont and Brightons were on lock-down, armed coppers were perched in sentry towers, people were being detained and then airlifted for extraordinary rendition in Germany, helicopters were commanding the skies like a swarm of angry wasps, and martial law had been declared. In addition, six old ladies were shot coming out of the butchers, which at least spared them the horror of the nuclear blast that erupted from ‘Auld Nessie’s Cat Charity Shop’ across the road.

My mate and I did some car-based reconnaissance. One tiny street with a pub in it was cordoned off, and two coppers were standing outside of a house. Miami Vice, motherfuckers. As we drove past the first cordon, my mate clocked the police tape and asked thoughtfully, ‘What do you think the police would do if we just ran through that tape like we’d finished a marathon?’ A tenner for anybody who does that at the next murder scene they stumble across. Twenty quid if they’re a copper (thirty if they’re the suspect). Do it in slow motion, though, yeah?

taggWe rounded the corner from the pub, past the local Spar, and clocked a heavy-set man coming out of the store wearing a fleece that said ‘NYPD’. We couldn’t help but share a giggle. ‘Jesus,’ said my mate. ‘They’re really taking this case seriously.’ Well played, NYPD guy. Well played.

Back at my mum’s house, we sat down to watch Scotland Today on STV. A murder in a sleepy hamlet in Falkirk? There’s no way that won’t feature on the news, even if it only merits a few solemn sentences. So we watched. And waited. Yadda yadda yadda underage drinking. Yadda yadda yadda kids voting. And then we were treated to approximately twelve minutes – TWELVE MINUTES of a twenty-seven minute news show covering all of Scotland – about tonight’s Celtic vs Barcelona football match. TWELVE MINUTES of interviewing Celtic’s coaches, directors and managers, where we gleaned such insights as: ‘It should be a good game,’ ‘I hope we win,’ and ‘The players just need to go out there and play the game.’ Fuck me. Then a woman in a near-empty stadium told us how exciting it was to be standing in that near-empty stadium, just knowing a football match was about to happen. Then we were treated to an ‘interview’ with some young Barcelona fans who were enjoying a couple of pre-match pints in Glasgow city centre. Shockingly, they hoped Barcelona would win, but whatever happened they thought it should be a good game, and urged the players to just get out there and play the game. They were then asked to sing a typical Barcelona terrace song – in Spanish obviously – which I can only hope was about shagging the bodies of their dead foes.

What a coincidence that STV had the broadcast rights to the same football match it plugged for twelve minutes during its own fucking news programme.

I get that it’s a Champions’ League match, and that the event has great cultural significance and entertainment value, but surely if the story’s featured in THE FUCKING NEWS it should be covered thusly: ‘Celtic are playing Barcelona at home tonight.’ What more is there to say? SPORT is not NEWS! Was there nothing else of any significance happening elsewhere in the country? No bribery, corruption, controversial legislation, or, oh I don’t know… MURDER??

dugWell, yes, there was something better than all of that, actually (but not as good as football, obviously). Some fat guy with long hair was so angry about tourists rubbing the nose of Edinburgh’s Greyfriars’ Bobby statue  that he went on TV to complain about it. They captioned him as a ‘Campaigner’. A campaigner for what? A blacker nose on a pretend dog? Bono’ll be in touch soon, my man.

The fat guy went on to tell us that his mate’s been putting shoe polish on the dog’s nose to dispense some rough justice to the tourists. Tourists? TERRORISTS more like! (impulse to write ‘ruff’ instead of ‘rough’ resisted)

Here’s a genuine quote from that news story:

‘It’s amazing how the tourists feel when they come away with a slightly grubby, waxy hand after doing something they shouldn’t be doing.’

So said the fat man, with a proud, steely look in his eyes as if he’d just participated in the vigilante murder of a child killer – instead of what he’d actually done, which was to over-see the repainting of a statue’s nose. Pulitzer’s all round.

(another tenner’s going spare for anyone who paints a big cock on Greyfriar’s Bobby)

And still no murder. Does nobody give a shit? Why is this not deemed important enough to share news space with a rubbed statue? So we switched to Reporting Scotland on BBC1. The headline? The murder rate in Scotland has dropped by 32 per cent. What? Not only was there nothing about the murder, BBC1 was actually reporting the absence of murders (Admittedly, if the news editor had already decided to lead with a story about how there’s no murder in Scotland  – possibly at the behest of the police and government – then they wouldn’t allow a pesky little thing like a fresh murder to come along and waste the composition of the news bulletin)

Now I’m not even sure if there’s been a murder at all. It’s funny how the rumour mill goes into meltdown when something horrid happens on your doorstep. Anyway, a man has died, and it’s a horrible tragedy, whatever the circumstances. Of that I’m sure, at least. I just thought the news – the Scottish news at least – would tell us more about this, and rather less about a man getting angry about a statue.

I’m off to not watch the football.

Annual Conference for Infectious Diseases

Boyle: tried - and failed - to shite out the Conference from her colon.

Boyle: tried – and failed – to shite out the Conference from her colon.

The ‘Transmittable Infectious and Contagious Viruses and Diseases League’ last week held its annual general conference, this time inside Susan Boyle’s colon, its glittering new venue. The chairman thanked all of the attendees, and then read out apologies for those who couldn’t make it, most notably ME, who just couldn’t be arsed turning up. ‘She shouldn’t even be in this fucking league anyway!’ shouted an angry Meningitis.

Proceedings got off to a solemn start as Swine Flu took to the stage with a heart-felt lament on the impermanence of power and status.

‘I used to be a big noise,’ sighed Swine Flu. ‘I guess I believed the hype, got carried away with the headlines. Millions dead, they said, and I believed them. When I was a little germ, I used to run around my cell pretending that I was Spanish Flu – God rest his soul – thinking I’d grow up to be just like him. In the end, I was nothing: little better than Bird Flu.’

The glory days.

The glory days.

Bird Flu was visibly shaken by this perceived slight, and took to the podium in a rage, ejecting Swine Flu and immediately going on the offensive. ‘You’re God damn right you were nothing, you shit-snouting pig-fucker. All that big talk, striding about Mexico with your wee dong out, and what did you achieve? A few dead Mexicans, and a couple of newlyweds in Falkirk got a dose of the sniffs and a new conservatory from Max Clifford. The fucking Cold has kicked more ass than you, son.’

‘Here, here!’ yelled the Cold. ‘And while I’ve got your attention, don’t any of you ever call me ‘common’ again. I live in a semi-detached in the suburbs, for Christ sake!’

At this point the Bubonic Plague interjected and appealed for calm, but he, too, fell foul of Bird Flu’s fury: ‘I’ll not be lectured to by a has-been. The last time you were a big player the coffins that took your victims away were pulled down gas-lit streets on horseback, rat boy!’

‘Respect your elders!’ screamed chicken pox, to loud approval from most of the audience.

‘Fuck off, you measly wee bastard!’ screamed Bird Flu. ‘Wee bit of Calpol’s enough to send you packing; not exactly Kryptonite is it, son? You’re about as deadly as a dose of the shites.’

Swine Flu, still smarting from Bird Flu’s attack, returned to his feet to issue a stinging rebuke: ‘At least we’ve learned to adapt to our new status, unlike others I could mention. You still think the world owes you a dying, you swan-killing loser!’

Queen protests cover of Chemical Brothers new album.

Queen protests cover of Chemical Brothers new album.

At this point, Bird Flu’s face changed to a deep scarlet. ‘LOSER? Fucking LOSER, is it? I brought the world to its knees, and it’s still on them. I use birds, and birds can get everywhere, so you‘ve not heard the last of Bird Flu, son, I can assure you of that. YOU never managed to bridge the species gap and go human to human, so how are your bloody pigs going to manage to get out there and infect the world? They going to swim across from Mexico, you arsehole? Hmmm? I’ll tell you when you can talk to me like an equal, son: when pigs fucking fly!’

By this time, the mood in the audience was electric with anger. ‘Oh, has the wee baw-bag not got anything else to say?’ hectored Bird Flu, clearly relishing his time in the spotlight. ‘No? Beh-the-Th-th-thi-th-th-the that’s all folks! FUCK YOU, you WORM!’

‘Get off!’ hollered Psoriasis. ‘Nobody wants to hear what you’ve got to say!’ At this point there was a scuffle, as Psoriasis was ejected from the conference. This is the fifth year running that Psoriasis has managed to sneak past conference security, each time wearing an ingenious disguise. This time he was disguised as the Ebola Virus (Ebola had been unable to attend the conference, as he’s currently on safari in Kenya).

‘This is discrimination!’ screeched Psoriasis as he was dragged, kicking and screaming, from the hall. ‘You’ll pay for this, you racists!’

Psoriasis? You wish!

Psoriasis? You wish!

‘He’s quite a character, is our Psoriasis,’ said the conference chairman afterwards. ‘Ironically, he’s demonstrated through his persistent, invasive behaviour that he has the heart and spirit of a deadly communicable disease. It’s just a pity that Psoriasis, in addition to not being what we’re looking for, is a really shite ailment. Laughable. Who would we have to take next if we opened our doors to the likes of him? Athlete’s Foot? Please!’


A deathly and sudden silence seized the room as the STDs burst into the hall. Their procession was led up the aisle by Lord AIDS, who regarded the non-sexual diseases on either side of him with disdain. His cloak billowed behind him like a sail. The Hepatitis brothers slapped a few terrified faces in the audience as they followed behind their master, a brazen act that caused Legionnaires Disease to faint.

B is for AIDS!

B is for AIDS!

‘Well, well, well,’ smirked Lord AIDS, in a voice that was identical to Patrick Stewart’s. ‘Listen to the minions bicker and squabble over the size of their respective micro-penises. Mine is the kingdom of human weakness, my friends, and my subjects will see me rule in perpetuity. Put simply, I’m the sex-and-drugs answer to cancer’ (bet you never thought you’d hear Captain Picard say that).

Just as Lord AIDS was about to mount the podium, The Cold jumped out from his seat, burst from his row and clamped his arms around the Lord’s legs. The Cold was dragged a few feet before Chlamydia managed to prise him off. ‘My Lord!’ said the Cold, weeping and moaning. ‘I am your humble servant. I would be NOTHING without you, my Lord, NOTHING!’ Lord AIDS looked down at The Cold as if he were nothing more than Cystitis.

Lord AIDS then ascended to the stage and took his place at the podium. He gazed out over the assembled diseases, and started laughing; and that laughter boomed and echoed throughout the room like an explosion. Once he’d finished, he gave a casual shrug of his shoulders and leaned in towards the microphone.

‘AIDS…’ he said in a husky whisper. ‘AIDS.’

No-one spoke for what seemed like an age. Then the silence was broken by an aggrieved Psoriasis, who had sneaked back into the hall.

‘Monkey fucker!’

Waiter, Waiter, There’s a Lie in My Soup

fb1My girlfriend and I went for a meal at Frankie and Benny’s in Stirling. Our waiter was tall and rubber-faced, and behaved like a robot programmed to be the world’s best butler. His manner ill befitted a thematic gastro-chain: he was far too polite and professional. In eateries such as Frankie and Benny’s I’m happy if my waiter looks like the sort of guy who won’t rip off a bead of shit caught in his arse hair and then touch our cutlery. Instead we got the Termiwaiter, a silver service cyborg sent through time from the 17th century to pander to the culinary whims of a bunch of undeserving round-faced cretins. All around him fat families decked out in obscenely colourful T-shirts demeaned humanity by gorging themselves like dead-eyed, drooling beasts, while their children shrieked and frolicked between tables like E-spiked lambs, but still the Termiwaiter’s waxy face stayed frozen in that same servile sneer, programmed to exhibit just the right balance of obsequiousness and charming mischief. He was awesome.

I called a manager over, and as he leaned forward I said, ‘I’d like to make a complaint about our waiter.’

The manager looked both shocked and frightened, and sat down next to me in a manner which suggested that a) I was about to diagnose him with cancer, and b) he needed a stiff drink to calm his nerves.

I continued, with these exact words: ‘He’s far too polite, professional and likable. Now we’ll have to give the prick a tip Tell him to be a little more obnoxious, I’m too tight for this.’

fb2The shock evaporated from the manager’s eyes, to be replaced by a twinkle. The cause of his shock? Apparently our waiter had been the subject of a genuine complaint earlier that week, when Termiwaiter misjudged how far he could banter with a table of diners. When asked if the calzone was any good, he’d replied that it was ‘the mutt’s nuts.’ They – clearly being unworthy of the gift of continued existence – had grassed him in to the management.

My girlfriend still chuckles when she remember’s the manager’s initial reaction as I introduced my ‘complaint’. We thought it was only possible to get shell-shock from mustard gas attacks in WWI, not by proxy of a cheeky waiter.

I don’t know if the manager informed the Termiwaiter of my compliment, or if Termiwaiter saw me conferring with his manager and assumed the worst, because when he returned to our table he ramped up the charisma and banter. All that was missing was a series of backflips, and a set of stilts and juggling clubs. It’s clear that the fleeting, table-based fame had gone to his head, but the Termiwaiter was on fire, and clearly out to maximise his tippage. I remember saying to my girlfriend, ‘This cunt realises he’s only getting three quid, right?’

Can you see where this story’s going? I couldn’t resist it. Termiwaiter returned to our table to clear away the plates from the main course, and asked us if we’d enjoyed it.

fb3‘It was great,’ I told him. ‘Really delicious…

…the mutt’s nuts.’

His smile seemed simultaneously to be saying ‘Bravo’ and ‘you dick’. Don’t feel too bad for him, though. We gave the cunt a fiver.

EPILOGUE: 1) OK, it was £4.50, but a fiver sounds better, and 2) he really was an excellent waiter. Dude’s name is Andy. But call him the Termiwaiter. He’ll like it.

How Tesco Takes Over the World

t1Tesco won’t assume total control overnight. Other corporations and multi-nationals will pave the way. These companies will take over the nations of the earth in bloodless, though economically aggressive, coups, and then re-brand them in their own hellish images. The United Kingdom will become the United Kingdom of Benetton. And later Great British Home Stores.

Ireland will become Iceland. Iceland will become Farmfoods. I know they had first dibs on the name Iceland, but there’s only 40, 000 of them, and even the town of Irvine could take them in a fight. Besides, we owe them nothing. They tried to bugger our economy a few years ago… I forget the details, because it was all incredibly boring, but I’m pretty sure they did something to us, whatever it was. Gordon Brown got mad, like really furious, and I’m pretty sure he said, ‘Some cunt’s getting fisted for this!’ I’m paraphrasing slightly. But he is from Giffnock, so it’s a believable outburst.

And let’s not forget that Iceland’s pesky volcanoes could stop us from flying out to Benidorm AT ANY SECOND. For that alone they should be cast into a deep ocean trench for all eternity. TO NEVER AGAIN SEE THE LEANING TOWER OF BENIDORM? THE GREAT WALL OF BENIDORM? THE HANGING GARDENS OF BENIDORM? I don’t want to live in that fucking world.

Scotland will become Poundland, because it’s full of fat people with no money. England will become B&Q, because it’s full of planks and tools; and Wales will become the Original Wool Company, because I’ve just been possessed by the ghost of Jim Davidson – a nifty trick, considering he’s (unfortunately) still alive.

The pig will have its revenge.

The pig will have its revenge.

Eventually, Tesco will take over the United Kingdom of Benetton, and change its name to Tesco Island. This won’t happen until after the great Supermarket wars, of course. Morrisons and Sainsbury’s will fall first. In fact, Tesco TV will broadcast the messy public executions of Allan Hansen and Jamie Oliver. They’ll be suffocated to death by Tesco carrier bags. And it won’t be quick, either. Cause it’ll take the executioner about 20 minutes to separate the bags from each other, even after he’s rubbed his hands on his jacket and licked his fingers. Jamie Oliver’s dying face will then be used to advertise Turkey Twizzlers, with the catchy slogans: ‘Ding Dong the Snitch is Dead,’ ‘What Are You Waiting For? Get Scoffing, You Fat Little Cunts,’ and ‘Now With Added Jamie Oliver.’

Lidl's mighty soup range: full of spew-trition.

Lidl’s mighty soup range: full of spew-trition.

Asda falls next. And thenceforth, anyone caught playfully patting the change in their back pocket will be shot dead. In time it will become the underground symbol of resistance, and only the most heroic will dare to pat their ass pockets. Lidl will put up the best fight, drawing Tesco into a dirty guerilla war in eastern Europe. The mighty Tesco army will advance across the plains: six million mechanised shopping trolleys armed with ballistic coin dispensers. Brave Lidl workers will fire deadly cannons filled with tins of 12p soup from the former Yugoslavia. Any human prisoners caught by the Lidl rebels will be forced to eat the soup, which is even deadlier in its liquid form than ballistic. I say liquid… we all know that stuff comes out of the can looking like a gelatinous 3D representation of a can of juice, and smells like a meaty urine infection. You could knock someone unconscious with it AFTER you’ve removed it from the can. Whatever: one forkful of that syrupy shit, and death is certain.

t4There will be so many branches of Tescos that asking for directions will assume the complexity and pointlessness of a Dan Brown novel.

‘Ah, you’re looking for Tesco Elms, in Tescoton? Certainly, sir, head down Tesco Boulevard, take a right on Tesco Lane, left on Tesco Street, past the lights on Tesco Grove, through Tesco Avenue, on to Tesco Street VIII, hook a left, and you can’t miss it, it’s just after the seventh Tesco on the right. You know, you’ll pass the Tesco Megastore, the Tesco Hyperstore, the Tesco Superstore, the Tesco Metro, the Tesco Compact, the Tesco Micro, and the Tesco Teeny Weeny… it’s after that one. Across the road from the Tesco Titty Bar. Next to the Tesco funeral parlour.’

Because you’ll get a Tesco funeral; a Tesco Finest one if you’re rich. It’ll be great. You’ll be buried in a golden coffin, and they’ll serve chicken Balmoral and expensive French cheese at your wake. A bit skint? Never mind. Have a Tesco Value funeral. Your coffin’ll be a giant plastic, Tesco Value pedal bin. Versatile, because if you fancy an open casket funeral, your loved ones can simply stand on the pedal.

‘Oh, you’ve done a lovely job on his face. Why the whiskers though?’
‘Tesco Value, love. Mortuary guys are expensive. We could only get a child’s face-painter. He thought a jolly pink tiger best captured your dead husband’s essence.’


This picture's existence means some other cunt beat me to the Tesco Value funeral idea, but let's just pretend I made this picture myself, right? Good.

This picture’s existence means some other cunt beat me to the Tesco Value funeral idea, but let’s just pretend I made this picture myself, right? Good.

Your relatives will stand at the wake devouring tubes of 48p poloni slicing sausage, washed down with that lemonade that tastes like it’s been devised by a homeopath – a millionth of lemonade dribbled into a litre of fizzy water; that shit makes Soda Stream taste good.

Eventually there’ll be no more room for Tescos on the surface of the Earth, or even on the Moon. They’ll have to pump money into Innerspace technology. Shrink them down. Eventually open a Tesco inside a minor celebrity’s body:

‘This is the 10 o’clock news. PM David Cameron, Howard from the Halifax ads and ex-Eastender’s heart-throb Pat Butcher were just some of the special guests shrunk down to the size of a bacterium to attend the grand opening of the world’s first Tesco Intestinal store… up Keith Chegwin’s arse.’

Young Jamie: Kindergarten Cock (Part 6)

Coasters was a roller-skating rink. It was essentially a giant, health and safety nightmare: you could hire rickety, worn-away boots with wobbly wheels; feel safe under the protective gaze of psychopathically disinterested marshals; navigate a wooden rink that still had nails sticking through it; and embrace a million opportunities to trip over the stalls of the grandstand or tumble down concrete stairs to your doom.  Coasters operated at a time when nobody cared if their kid came home with a broken hip, or dead. Anyway, skating wasn't the point. Coasters wasn't really for skating. It was a place where teenage girls went to get fingered. But on wheels! (Richard Desmond, if you're reading this page, now is the best time to commission 'Strictly Come Fingered on Skates' for Channel 5) I remember shitting myself at Coasters - literally shitting myself. Sexy, eh? Right into a pair of Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle orange Y-fronts. Probably mushed the turtle's head right into Splinter's face. I'm pretty sure, given when the Hero Turtles were on TV, that when this shitting occurred I would have been a) way too old to have been wearing Hero Turtle Y-fronts and b) too old to be accidentally shitting myself in public. I whipped them off in the cubicles, smuggled them outside and stashed them under a big pile of litter. Sorry council workers. I know a child's poo pants aren't exactly considered the jewel in the crown of a working day. Anyway, my sister will love this drawing. I've given her the waist, hips and torso of the big black woman from the Tom and Jerry cartoons, plus the haircut of a 53-year-old woman. Not to mention a London police uniform from 1952. And I've made her boyfriend look like Freddy Krueger with bad acne. I wonder where Angelo is now? Probably running a chip shop somewhere. Or a skating rink.

Coasters was a roller-skating rink. It was essentially a giant, health and safety nightmare: you could hire rickety, worn-away boots with wobbly wheels; feel safe under the protective gaze of psychopathically disinterested marshals; navigate a wooden rink that still had nails sticking through it; and embrace a million opportunities to trip over the stalls of the grandstand or tumble down concrete stairs to your doom. Coasters operated at a time when nobody cared if their kid came home with a broken hip, or dead. Anyway, skating wasn’t the point. Coasters wasn’t really for skating. It was a place where teenage girls went to get fingered. But on wheels! (Richard Desmond, if you’re reading this page, now is the best time to commission ‘Strictly Come Fingered on Skates’ for Channel 5) I remember shitting myself at Coasters – literally shitting myself. Sexy, eh? Right into a pair of Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle orange Y-fronts. Probably mushed the turtle’s head right into Splinter’s face. I’m pretty sure, given when the Hero Turtles were on TV, that when this shitting occurred I would have been a) way too old to have been wearing Hero Turtle Y-fronts and b) too old to be accidentally shitting myself in public. I whipped them off in the cubicles, smuggled them outside and stashed them under a big pile of litter. Sorry council workers. I know a child’s poo pants aren’t exactly considered the jewel in the crown of a working day. Anyway, my sister will love this drawing. I’ve given her the waist, hips and torso of the big black woman from the Tom and Jerry cartoons, plus the haircut of a 53-year-old woman. Not to mention a London police uniform from 1952. And I’ve made her boyfriend look like Freddy Krueger with bad acne. I wonder where Angelo is now? Probably running a chip shop somewhere. Or a skating rink.

Young Jamie: Kindergarten Cock (Part 5)


This entry documents what was likely my very first encounter with a real, live English person. Not that I was in the habit of socialising with English corpses, you understand (although that would explain a lot). At least this proves I wasn’t exposed to strong anti-Sassenach sentiments in the home. It would have been distressing for me to have come across a childhood diary entry that went like this: ‘Met Bryan from England. Stabbed him for Culloden. Did homework.’ Thankfully, I only assassinated Bryan’s character, not his nationality. Boring. Is there any worse label? Well, OK, ‘murderer’ is slightly worse, and I dare say most light entertainers from the 1970s would kill to be remembered as ‘boring’ right now. It’s not a good thing to be called, though, is it?: ‘Aw, you’re really gonna love Bryan; he’s so boring!!!’ Bryan’s a name that drips with boring anyway. If his parents knew they were going to pass on the STD of dullness to their son they should have taken preventative measures and called him Papa-Zulu, or The Hawk. Or Dancing Peter or something. Did you see what happened in the text though? I didn’t just call Bryan ‘boring.’ I said he was boring ‘aswell.’ As well as me? What a high opinion I had of myself. We probably just sat there in that shed sipping green tea, as I flipped through my stamp collection, and he made a series of withering remarks about how impossibly high the mortgage rate was for first time buyers. Thank god my un-boring cousin turned up to add an exciting dash of bullying into the mix!

Santa’s Journal (Entry 9) – May 25 2013

No stress today. No phone calls, no bullshit. That was my vow. Well, Margaret commanded it because of my heart, actually. Ordered me to take it easy, and have a day of peace.

And I was largely successful. The most excitement came this morning as I was dozing in my armchair, when I thought I heard something coming from the snow dunes. What can I say: it’s a thrilling existence. Hell of a racket, though. It sounded like something was shaking the ground like it was a shag-pile rug, and scattering the snow like debris. Did I hear it? I think we’ve established that I’m getting old, and every sensory organ is packing up one at a time for the old folks’ home, so maybe I didn’t. Besides, when I heard this noise – that may or may not have been of phantom origin – I was still straddling the gulf between Sandman and Snowman, Barbados and Lapland, asleep and awake, so I wasn’t even in possession of the sound, deductive powers of Eamonn Holmes, never mind Sherlock Holmes. I thought maybe Margaret had dropped another tray of mince pies in the kitchen. She hadn’t. She suggested that my own nightmarishly loud snoring had woken me up. It’s possible. My snores sound like a plane-load of panicked, parachuting pigs making an emergency landing onto a passing convoy of motorbikes, just as God squats over their faces and roars out a planet-chewing fart.

Conditions were pleasant in the living room this morning, though, I can tell you. The fire was roaring and spitting by my side. Lovely, warm and stress-free. Screw excitement: there’s nothing quite like dozing off in your favourite chair in-front of your favourite hot fire, the newspaper crumpled on your lap and your slippers clinging to your feet like two tufts of toasty cloud.

Well, unless it’s that fantasy of mine where a naked, voluptuous model on a reclining chair awaits my descent down the chimney, legs akimbo, a cigarette dangling seductively from her ruby-red lips, greeting me in husky tones with the words: ‘So, Santa, let’s see if I can help you empty that bulging sack of yours.’

The fantasy always hovers in the air above my fire-toasted armchair, waiting for me to sit down and slip it on like a virtual reality sex helmet. Hey, I may play the part of Santa, but I’m still a man, right? I’m Frank McGarry: as red-blooded as I am red-jacketed.

It’s just a shame that Margaret’s idea of sex these days is extra clotted cream on our scones. There’s a euphemism in there somewhere, I’m sure.

‘Aw, look at you,’ Margaret’ll say as she catches me daydreaming (she thinks I’m daydreaming!), and spots the beaming grin plastered across my  features. ‘What’s making you so happy, my love?’

‘I’m just thinking…’ I’d purr, ‘…of the happiness I bring… to the children of the world.’

As I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, my vow to remain cocooned in peace was only largely successful. I can always count on my bosses at Coca Cola to get my heart beating like the samba. I waited until Margaret was at the shop, and then tried phoning the bastards multiple times to discuss this Dwerg Neuken situation and how they’re treating the elves, and to vent a little of my anger (nobody calls me Mickey Mouse and gets away with it!), but if the phone wasn’t just ringing out, I was being assured by some automated arsehole that ‘my call was very important.’ So important that they completely ignored it about eighty-five times. A day of reckoning is upon them, let me assure you of that…

Santa’s Journal (Entry 8) – May 24 2013

I spent the morning trying to get through to Coca Cola. Kept getting their switchboard.

‘This is Frank McGarry calling,’ I said in my sternest, boomiest voice. ‘I need to speak with management.’

I always use my real name when I’m angry with them. They know I mean business when I cast off my Santa branding and let my Glasgow show. It didn’t work though. The receptionist told me that the big boss was in meetings all day. I asked for the man under him. Surprise: he’s in meetings too. And the man under him. I think I went through the entire list of staff, top to bottom, trying to find someone to take my call. It turns out that even the guy in the fucking mail room is in meetings today.

Next I called the management at Dwerg Neuken. They’d speak to me, alright, but I’d’ve been better talking to a brick wall. Christ, I’d’ve been better talking to Margaret. I got through to their CEO, some whiny-voiced arsehole by the name of Jorg Griswald, and told him in no uncertain terms that what he was doing to the elves was immoral and deplorable. That the elves were a loyal, decent and hardworking lot who didn’t deserve to have their meagre pay slashed even more. And, besides, if anybody is going to make their lives an unending misery, it should be me!

‘I am full of large apologies today, Mr madam,’ he said, his reedy Norwegian accent going up and down like an asthmatic mouse on a pogo-stick, ‘but what does our business with the little people of the snow have to do to you?’

‘What does it have to do with me?? I’m Santa Claus, motherfucker!!!’

From what I was able to piece together from his terrible command of English, Jorg will answer only to his masters at Coca Cola. I was a mere puppet, a mascot, a breathing piece of branding, scarcely a human being. His exact words were: ‘Sooner I would be taking orders from Mickey Mouse, yes?’

Which is why I’m posting him a big bag of reindeer shite. First class.