Friday, 23 September 2011

The Becks a Man Can Get.

I've just finished a seven day shift and feel like a bag of smashed crabs. I need an uplifting story to cheer me up so how about this one.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently and he recounted this tale told to him by a work colleague (who I'll call Trevor as I can't remember his real name).

A few years ago Trevor went to the Trafford Shopping Centre in Manchester with his wife and son (who I'll call Daniel for the above reason).

It was Daniel's 9th birthday and he wanted a Manchester United home kit and had been given enough gift vouchers to buy one. Now parking at the Trafford Centre is abysmal and after trolling around looking for a spot with an increasingly bored kid kicking the back of his seat Trevor told his wife and kid to get out and go shopping without him. He would continue looking for a space and meet them outside Woolworths in an hour.

This would give Trev time to park the car, get a cup of coffee and a quick read of the paper beofere the ensuing boredon of shopping for somebody else's benefit.

Eventually Trev got parked and was making his way through the car park when he noticed some men geting out of a black SUV.

Two of them were big lads who looked like personal security but there was no mistaking the third man. David Beckham, at the time still a midfielder for Manchester United.

Not wanting to miss a golden opportunity, Trevor walked over and introduced himself and explained that his son was a huge Manchester United fan and asked for an autograph.

Beckham obliged and even supplied the pen and paper while Trevor, being a bit starstruck, babbled away that he was meeting his wife and son in 40 minutes outside Woolworths.

Trev thanked Becks profusely and went for his coffee, thrilled about being able to give his son Beckham's autograph.

He met them outside Woolworths and was just about to tell them what had happened when they heard a voice behind them say, "Excuse me, is your name Daniel"?

They all turned around and there stood Beckham with a carrier bag in his hand. All the blood ran out of Daniel's face and he just stared.

"I've heard it's your birthday and I'd like to give you these. Happy Birthday".

And so for his ninth birthday young Daniel got a Manchester United strip, a football and a card all signed by David Beckham along with a memory that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

Well, I don't know about you but that cheers me right up.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Stating the Stupid.

Sod it, I'm going to have a rant.

Here is a list of things that people say that annoy me to the extent that I grind my teeth so hard they shatter and my face collapses in on itself. And when I say people I include my intolerant, arrogant and judgemental self.

1. 'Why should I'?

This is usually a response given by someone who has been asked to pick up a piece of litter they have dropped or help someone with something that wouldn't necessarily benefit the person posing this fatuous, childish question.

People who adopt this philosophy tend to be pebble brained, cold-blooded shit bags with less sense of social responsibilty than a Box jellyfish.

Why should you indeed? Well how about just for the sake of helping your fellow man and making the world a fractionally more pleasant place to live in? Groups of monkeys help each other out as they are aware that they in turn may need a hand moving a particurlary heavy pile of bananas one day and if they help their fellow monkeys today then can expect the favour to be reciprocated in the future.

If monkeys can grasp this concept then so can you.

2. 'I'm not a racist, but...'.

When somebody starts a sentence with this then you know that the next thing to come out of there mouth will be so racist that the very words themselves may as well be wearing jackboots. Judging by the number of times I have hard people utter this sentence then it would appear that no-one in the world is racist.

However I believe that everybody in the world is racist. We may not all show it on the surface but somewhere in the dark, reptilian parts of our brains there lurks a tribal impulse that automatically makes us root for our own racial type.

I'm not condoning it, it's how we deal with this and each other that makes us the people that we are but we need to accept this and not hide behind this thin veneer of pretending not to notice other people's cultural differences.

So instead why not say 'I am a racist, but....' and then follow this with something constructive.

3. 'I know my rights'.

The battlecry of tracksuit wearing, benefit claiming, scrounging layabouts everywhere. They know that their rights are to sit around all day watching daytime TV on huge, plasma screen tellys, smoking cheap fags and drinking shit lager while you work in order to provide taxes so they can maintain the directionless, twilight existence they live in.

What about knowing your responsibilties instead?

Ok, that's enough of that. I'm in danger of drowning myself in bile and disillusionment if I aren't careful. The world is already a seething bauble of rage and doesn't need my input.

After you have read this promise me you will go and look at pictures of kittens to balance out your chakras or whatever.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Night We Blinded Lemmy.

It’s 1981 and a bunch of 15 year old lads from Halifax are excited to be out in in the big city. We'd travelled the 10 miles from our hometown by train and are here to see the world’s loudest, dirtiest, drunkest and wartiest band of the 80’s, Motorhead.

Dressed in the NWOBHM uniform of denim jackets with the sleeves torn off with band patches sewn all over them. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was at it’s height and there were more bands than there was time in the day to listen to them all.

I had a large patch sewn on the back of my jacket from the Fly By Night album cover by Rush. I didn’t even like Rush but they were metal so that as reason enough.

We got inside the venue an watched the first two support acts. First up were Lightning Raiders, who quite frankly weren’t going to get anywhere with that name, they sounded like a brand of confectionery.

Then came the forgettable Tank, I can’t comment on these as I don’t remember a thing about them.

The third act were Trust and these were much more interesting. These were a French metal band, the drummer Nicko McBrain joined Iron Maiden when they became massive. Their signature song Anti-social was covered by Anthrax a few years ago.

While these were on we were standing by the sound desk in the middle of the audience when my mate suddenly started pointing excitedly.

Look behind the sound desk, it’s Lemmy he said.

Sure enough there stood the Lemster himself, talking with the sound engineer and watching Trust while swigging a can of Carlsberg Special Brew and chain smoking Marlboros.

We couldn’t concentrate on Trust at this point, Lemmy would have to walk through the crowd to get out of the sound booth so this would give us a chance to get his autograph. The fact that none of us had pen or paper didn't occur to us.

Sure enough near the end of Trust's set Lemmy stepped out into the crowd . No-one else seemed to notice although I don’t know how, to me he looked about nine feet tall. He made his way through the crowd away from us and we made our move. The biggest and oldest of us decided to get Lemmy’s attention by reaching out to tap him on the shoulder.

As he did so, Lemmy, for reasons known only to himself, turned around and my mate's finger poked him in the eye.

Lemmy let out a roar and flailed his arms around, spraying special Brew all over us. We did the only sensible thing and panicked, scattering into the crowd with visions of the concert being cancelled due to Lemmy being blinded and ourselves being lynched by enraged Motorheadbangers.

None of us washed our jackets after that, although to be honest we had never washed them before it and had no plans to wash them in the future, not with Lemmy's Special Brew all over them.

So we can say that we poked Lemmy in the eye and got away with it.

Unless he reads this blog.