Sunday, 26 June 2011

Stand By Your Man

So said Tammy looking like a perfect Stepford Wife.  Every man's fantasy.  A flawless and demure doll who would stand by her wayward husband at all costs because, after all, he's just a man.

That song caused outrage at the time from horrified women who baulked at the Victorian sentiment that pushed back the female cause by 60 years.  In the end, Tammy's hymn to him didn't stop the feminist flow and over the last 30 odd years women in Western culture have really come into their own.  Juggling family life and careers so successfully that equality is almost not an issue now.  Some might say that our sisters went too far as ladette culture created a new breed of binge drinking sexual predators that had men running scared.  The roles became reversed as New Man was consumed with spray tan, body waxing and glossy mags with blokes in tight white underwear.

What we're led to believe by all this Jordanesque behaviour is that it's Game, Set & Match to the fairer sex.  However underneath this orange veneer is a much more disturbing truth that in reality things haven't really changed at all since Mr Wynette was given carte blanche to have his good times by the down trodden missus.

Every time we open a paper or magazine these days we're bombarded by sordid stories of high profile husbands having furtive escapades with whatever slappers happen to be served up on a plate for their sexual gratification.

Now this is nothing new and we all know that men are genetically designed to be controlled by the contents of our pants but what's happened to the power of a woman?

There's not a week goes by without some dim witted WAG choosing to humiliate herself in the media by forgiving her man......because she loves him.  Do these people not watch Jeremy Kyle?  If there's no trust in a marriage then no amount of Jimmy Choos or Gucci bags is going to give you self esteem and happiness.

Reading through the Sunday rags today we're told that Cheryl and Ashley's reunion is inevitable and that poor Mrs Giggs has decided that she can live with a man who has allegedly had multiple affairs and shagged his brother's wife.

Unfortunately these idiots are the role models of a generation and the message being given here is loud and clear and no different to that song from 1975.

You'll have bad times
And he'll have good times
Doing things that you don't understand
But if you love him you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man

Are women smart? I suggest that men aren't as dumb as women think they are.

The one about Christmas (Dec 2005)

Well it's over for another year and I've survived again, albeit with bowel movements swaying dramatically from pebble-dashing to prehistoric rock formations.

I managed to get away with only two Christmas parties this year and both were a cracking good time. Cracking being the operative word as I managed to recreate the ending of Torville & Dean's Bolero on an icy Broad Street in Birmingham in my new Paul Smith party shoes........TWICE! Well the queue outside Walkabout demanded an encore so I had to oblige, didn't I.

Christmas shopping was stress-free this year. Did it all online in November. How bloody cool am I eh? Well I was really cool until my father rang me last Friday to inform me that he'd forgotten to tell me that the hamper I ordered for him had been sent back to Harrods due to the fact that he'd forgotten it was being delivered and had gone out for the day with his new lady friend. It must be the Scottish water. I mean he's 80 with arthritis and prostrate trouble FFS!

Anyway said pensioned lothario forgot to tell me that this happened a week or so before, so I'm left making frantic calls to Harrods at 5.27pm on the Friday before Christmas to try and find out where the bloody hamper is. The local Post Office don't have it and it's not found it's way back to Harrods either so it's probably landed up as a special Christmas gift to some lucky Mother in Dundee whose son works for Parcel Force.

Between me and a Harrods Customer Service Manager, who sounded like Zippy from Rainbow, we managed to agree on a hamper re-send and I told the old letch that he had to stay at home for a couple of days and wait for the delivery. I'm sure he could find something to keep him occupied on if he gets desperate.

Christmas day was a rather bizarre experience. Me and my ex spending it with my ex's boyfriend and his ex. It wasn't as bad as it sounds and in fact it was quite good fun. Well anything is fun after 3 pints of mulled wine I guess. It was all going rather well and in fact I found the ex's boyfriend's ex to be extremely attractive and was enjoying the day more and more. However the thought of someone else I like right now made me hold back and not get too flirty. That and the fact that even thinking of the complications of me with ex's boyfriend's ex................ Oh jeez it just doesn't bear thinking about! That would be a 4 star blog in the making or a dead cert for a reality TV shown on Living TV between Queer Eye and Extreme Makeover UK. Is it just me or are the UK women on there not really that different at the end? They all still look a bit Chav but with nice hair and a decent dress.

Whilst I'm on this rather gay topic. I was having a browse online and for some reason landed up on the Channel 4 News Form. Bloody hell, Boxing Day is an anti-climax.

Found the usual gay debate on there. These threads are common on the News Forum and it amuses me how some people will post anti-gay statements in the guise of a 'debate'.

I find it really strange that some straight males claim to fear homosexuals like they're some sort of heavy mob waiting to pounce on fragile little men and force them into some gay sex act. What is it they fear I wonder?

It surely can't be the act of budgery as that is popular between consenting straight couples (mainly for male gratification). It's also common in male schools and prisons when there's nothing less hairy around.

It leads me to assume that this terrible fear must be due to the fact that, what they will quite happily do to a woman or indeed another man, might be done to them by some big gay brute of a man. OK maybe I can understand that the role reversal may not be appealing but I wonder where these men think these fearful attacks might take place?

Trapped behind the lockers in the Virgin Active gym and tied up with some iPod Shuffle headphones?

Bashed over the head with a bag of Mange Tout and dragged into Tesco's toilets......more room in the wheelchair cubicle ;-)

Heaven forbid they should sit next to a gay on public transport. That would be just asking for trouble! Look out for tell tale signs guys (HEAT magazine and Diesel trainers) before you sit down.

OK I'm being flippant now but I really would like to know why someone would be scared of me and think that I'm on the prowl every day for a weak straight guy to dominate for sexual pleasure. Hmmmm. I'm turning myself on now.

Most of my male friends are straight and I don't see them trembling with fear in my company. Backing off at the overpowering smell of my D&G cologne maybe.......but never scared of the contents of my pants. I do combat sports as a hobby and work out with a lot of tough blokes who don't bat an eyelid about my sexuality. It's just not an issue for them.

Oh look I've gone off track again haven't I. Back to Christmas.

It wasn't so bad after all and in fact I received something nice on my new phone that made me smile during the present unwrapping. I did get lots of lovely pressies but then there were the usual presents that required Academy Award standard acting during the ceremony.

I mean how would you react at the sight of a remote controlled Dalek and a Croydon Advertiser mug...........

Post script

Since I wrote that blog 6 years ago things have changed and homophobia and fear of the gay is now sneered at in the media.

There have been a couple of examples recently on Reality TV that have shown how attitudes have changed.

Leon, the wimp, on The Apprentice was rightly ridiculed for his fear of giving a bloke a spray tan. His girlfriend tried to defend him by saying it was because he was a man's man. I'm saying nothing ;-)

The Hunks on Living also made a point of making Idris look a complete idiot when he wanted to leave the series because his straight flatmates were quite happy to help each other with hair products.

Let's just be totally clear on one thing guys. You can't catch gay from a jar of Molton Brown hair gel.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The one about Skiathos (July 2008)

Well I'm back in clammy Croydon having survived two weeks of searing heat, angry wasps, peanut butter poo and stifling transport, squashed up against hairy Europeans smelling of fags and pizza. It was like a home from home!

It was a fantastic holiday filled with new experiences. It's not everyone who can claim to have spent an afternoon on a nudist beach discussing DFS sofas with an old queen from Blackpool. What made this scene so memorable was the fact that he spent the whole conversation flapping his balls around in the sea breeze and I couldn't help but notice that his genitals bore a striking to resemblance to Father Christmas with a stinking cold.

As you might expect I had some typical mishaps during the fortnight. The most painful happened late in the first week. We'd had a lovely day on the beach and I'd spent a lot of time languishing in the shallows to cool down. I decided to leave early because I wanted to pick up some shopping on the way back to the apartment. I'd pretty much dried off in the sun so just wandered back into town for a browse.

After about half an hour I started to feel a bit of chaffing between my legs. Damn I thought. My shorts must must have been a bit damp. Too late to do anything about it, I went about my business and as the pain got worse I started to walk like I'd shit my pants. The more I tried not to look like my nappy was full the more awkward my gait became and no matter what I did, the pain at the top of my thighs was getting worse and starting to make my eyes water.

I waddled slowly back to the apartment and eased into the bathroom to check out the damage. As I pulled down my swim shorts I discovered I'd been walking around town with a couple of pounds of wet gravel from the beach trapped in the pant lining of my shorts!

As if in slow motion and due to the excess weight, my shorts dropped to the floor and a substantial amount of Megali Amos beach scattered all over our lovely clean marble floor. We were still standing on stray bits of crunchy beach a week later. I went through a tube of Savlon over the next couple of days and spent most of the time in a sarong so as not to aggravate the red welts between my legs.

We were holidaying on Skiathos, which is one of my favourite Greek islands. They filmed Mama Mia there last year and the movie was showing at the open air cinema there. We just had to go and see it. It was a magical night. Singing and dancing along to an ABBA movie under the stars probably scores rather high on the Camp-o-meter. Ghostly sea birds soared overhead as we all got on the floor for the reprise of Dancing Queen at the end. One of mates got a bit carried away and knocked over our table, spilling a full glass of Ouzo over my brand new trainers. I've washed them 3 times since but there's still a whiff of aniseed under my bed.

I don't know if I've mentioned before but Mr T seems to have developed a fetish for people with disabilities. Over the last couple of years we've seen him getting off with what could pass for the British Paralymic Squad. This strange obsession continued on holiday as we were introduced to his latest Greek flame. The holiday romance this year was with a deaf mute called George.

Mama Mia!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The one about the tram (Oct 2004)

Right it's nearly Halloween and have I had a gut full of ghouls already. Digital Spy forums aside ;-) things had been pretty harmonious at home. Had over two weeks off work and although all my planned trips had to be cancelled due to building work in my kitchen, the end result was worth it. Lovely kitchen and a pretty chilled Steve.

I hardly recognize my kitchen now and find myself gliding around in there with a Dettox surface wipe far too often than is healthy for a 6'3 bloke with a No1 crop and tattoos.

Only a few bits need doing now. Mr T has volunteered to do the tiling. Very nice of him and I am appreciative but he's one of these DIY Dangers that starts things but never finishes so I'm cautiously delighted.

He bought a huge shed/garden workshop kit to put up the end of the garden. Had it delivered, started to level off the ground where he was going to build it. 2 years later the level ground is a massive cat litter tray for the local felines and when I look out my bedroom window all I can see is 2 tons of pine rotting under a bright green tarpaulin.

Anyway he made a start and the tiles are looking magnificent. Perfect match. Very butch if I say so myself. You may remember that I'm getting quite blazé about going to the DIY sheds after recent expeditions. So when Mr T says he needs some tile edging I leap to the rescue and tell him I'll nip over to Tile Base and get some. I could see the slightly unsure look crossing his face and after much silent shuffling he agreed that I couldn't do much harm with such a task.

Feeling dead chuffed and almost like a pseudo-builder's mate I pop down the road and catch a tram to the Tile Base Superstore just in time for school's out! The tram was packed with kids in baseball caps, polyester and arses hanging round their knees. There's a lot to be said for school uniforms.

Get to Tile Base at last after suffering the stench of a sweaty kid devouring 2 Big Macs. There was a hint of Lynx in the mix too. It was like a round of Stilton that had been sprayed with Fabreze. Not a smell I care to encounter again.

The place has what I need. 2 lengths of tile edging in black. Perfect! Leave the shop looking even more pleased with myself and head for home. Whilst waiting for the tram I suddenly noticed that the other people waiting were giving me strange looks. I pretended not to noticed and shuffled around looking at my mobile phone for no reason and reading the barcode on the tile edge strip. Some people are so rude I thought. 2 minutes before the tram arrives.

It's at this point I suddenly look up to the end of the 8 foot long pieces of tile edging. Yes. I said 8 foot. Bugger!

As the tram approaches I can see people whispering to each other and a pushchair Mum with greasy hair and equally greasy child rolls her eyes at me and inspects her false nails. I return her eye rolls and throw in a screwed up nose into the bargain.

The tram's here. Doors open. It's really busy. I lower the edging strips and try to manoeuvre myself into the tram, almost knocking the cap off an old bloke who's dancing around in the gangway trying to get out of the way. I try and pull up and the strips smack against the ceiling making a noise like the electricity lines have snapped. Two old dears obviously headed for bingo let out a shriek and before they have time to attack me with their dobbers an Inspector appears. 'You can't bring that on here mate' he says. I look indignant and desperately trying to maintain my cool blurt out 'Well how do you expect me to get get this home'

I could have crawled into the old blokes cap. Why did I say that? The whole place was now a mix of sniggers and tutting and my face was beetroot.

I got off the tram pretending to be furious at the way I had been treated. Probably looked a bit like Diana Ross after being frisked at Heathrow. Stormed back to the shop who very kindly gave me a refund whilst I ranted on about public transport and pensioners traveling during peak hours. By the time I got home I was quite calm again and told Mr T what had happened.

He looked at me in disbelief and said 'Why didn't you just get the shop to cut it in half'.....

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The one about the trip to Newcastle (April 2007)

Off on my travels again. This time I'm at the mercy of GNER as I make my way to Newcastle for a business meeting and a big company do. Spent the whole previous evening emptying the contents of my wardrobe and trying to pair up tops and bottoms for the party. In the end I went for a Diesel/Primark combo of jeans and black t shirt adorned with various crucifixes and bracelets. I think I'm turning into Madonna circa 1984.

Surprisingly the trip North was pretty uneventful apart from a toothless drunk across the aisle who kept emptying a carrier bag full of Celebrations and Quality Street onto his table and counting them. After he satisfied himself that they were all still there he would scoop them up and put them back for 20 minutes before starting all over again.

He caught me watching him outside Peterborough and waved a mini Mars bar in my face and laughed so much he nearly choked on his own phlegm, like a TB victim who's just won the lottery.

Jumped in a cab at Newcastle station and when I said where I was going I got what sounded like some mild form of Geordie abuse. 30 seconds later when we pulled up to the hotel I realised why the cabbie hadn't been best pleased. The hotel was just the other side of the traffic lights. I felt so sheepish and embarrassed I gave him a fiver and told him to keep the change.

After a curry I finished off some work in my room and had a glass of something passing as red wine before getting ready for bed. I was really tired and looking forward to hitting the pillows. I slid under the covers with a grin on my face and my specs perched on the end of my nose. It took about 5 seconds before I realised I was lying on something damp!

I threw off the covers and leapt out of bed. Well I didn't exactly leap. It was too late at night for leaping. Anyway I switched the lights on and gently patted the mattress. It was definitely damp. Should I sniff it? I sniffed it! No smell but it's damp. I sat on the sofa for a few minutes wondering what I should do. No choice but to call reception and think about packing up and moving rooms.

After about 5 minutes there was a knock at the door and Blakey from On the Buses walked in! I swear he was a dead ringer. He has a feel of the bed and ventures a sniff too. We're both rubbing the sheets now and it's becoming clear that the dampness seems to have vanished! He's now looking at me like I'm some sort of mad person. He's quick though as he suggested that it was probably the Fog off the Tyne and maybe I should shut my window. I found myself agreeing with his theory to get out of my predicament. He bid me goodnight as I rushed him out the door. I guess I'll never know where the dampness came from or where it went. Maybe it was some kind of paranormal activity!

Next morning my guts were playing up after the curry. I'd already had 2 toilet sittings in the hotel before the cab arrived. Why don't hotels provide bog brushes. I'm sure it's so the maids can have a right good laugh at your skid marks.

I'd only been in the office for about half an hour when the curry made itself known again. Nothing worse that doing a poo in the office but I had no choice in the matter. I sneaked down the corridor and after checking to make sure I had no neighbours I landed in trap number 4. Just at the point of relaxation, the toilet door opens and in come a group of sqealing lads from the call centre. I think I've only ever taken a dump at work on 2 occasions and both times I ended up with a giggling audience outside. Having a shit can be really shit sometimes.

The main event was the party in the evening. I work with a great team of people and we always have fantastic nights out but this one was extra special as it marked a big change in our company. A change for the good I have to say. It's been a dead exciting time and we were all really up for a good time.

As usual, tea-total Frank from Sales got rat arsed after 2 pints of Carling and was swaying by the ladies toilets offering Marlboro Lights to anything that walked past. We got him a cab at half nine as his eyes were rolling back into his head after someone gave him a Sambuca.

Soon it was the last record of the night and we were all on the floor linking arms and shouting along to The Proclaimers and 5000 miles. As we got to the 2nd verse I felt this hand down the back of my jeans. Inside my Polo underpants! I turned to Diane who was on my right but realised her hand was on my shoulder. The hand down my pants belonged to Ian from Finance. How rude!

We staggered across the bridge to Buffalo Joe's for more of the same. I love Buffalo Joe's. Especially the bar staff. Those sexy lads in chaps and leather waistcoats are very pleasant viewing and the girls are not bad either. I was apparently quite easy on the eye to a young gun who followed me around like a puppy all night. I say puppy but I think he was more like a drunk velociraptor as he tried to get me away from the pack at every opportunity. I was flattered and it was fun but he wasn't my type.

After a quick snog by the wheelie bins I escaped back to the herd only to be thrown onto the bucking bull. Well I say thrown but actually I was getting boos from the crowd as they were getting bored waiting for me to take off my boots, jewellery and find a relatively sober person to hold my mobile phone. I finally made my entrance and leapt onto the bouncy base around the bull. Misjudged the bounce and fell forward, bashing my nose on the saddle. I didn't ever get my leg over and staggered off with a bloody nose only to be greeted by Ian from Finance with a tissue and a smile.

What to do next? Another grope by the bins or should I risk the foggy bed?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The one about the Wine Box (June 2004)

I think I'm turning into Frank Spencer!

Having recovered from the D&G spectacle debacle I was enjoying a relatively tranquil day yesterday. The sun was shining and I was chuffed that I'd managed to complete all my work tasks by the early afternoon. Well you know that expression pride comes before a fall > I wanna slap the supercilious git who coined that phrase!

First of all I went arse over tip trying to get to my mobile phone and smacked my head on the wardrobe. I'm sure I didn't leave my gym bag there. Maybe the dog is getting her revenge for the breakfast incident.

When I get up in the morning she usually rushes through to the kitchen with me to get her food. Strange that she staggers about the place looking like an arthritic pensioner until there's any mention of food and suddenly she's whizzing about like she's on speed. Anyway I get to the kitchen and there's no sign of her. I call her name but still nothing. I start to worry and walk back through to the lounge only to find her struggling across the room dragging her bed which had somehow attached itself to her back leg. Of course my initial reaction was to fall about laughing and she didn't take kindly to that and started whimpering. I gave her a reassuring kiss and tried to get her free from the bed attachment but the threads have got themselves well and truly tangled around her paw and her whimpers escalate for more dramatic affect.

I need to get scissors to cut her free so leave her while I go back to the kitchen and the crying takes on a 'don't leave me' tone. Back with a selection of blades, I wrestle with the thread for about 5 minutes trying not to hurt her while she shrieks everytime the scissors go anywhere near her paw. At last she's free and immediately forgets about her trauma and rushes through to the kitchen, tail wagging and dancing round her food bowl.

So I'm convinced she set the gym bag trap to get her revenge for the morning ordeal but luckily no more face damage - just a lump on the head to remind me that SHE is the boss.

Watched the footie in the evening and and prepared to watch Big Brother highlights show. Thought I'd pour myself a glass of red wine and recline on my leather Linda Barker. Grabbed the box of Banrock Station and a glass and proceeded to the lounge. Just as I get through the door things went into slow-motion. The bottom falls out of the box and the sack splatters on the carpet gushing red wine everywhere - carpet, sofa, walls, new Next cushions!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The horror unfolding before my eyes freezes me to the spot for what seemed like forever. I manage to grab the sack and stop the deluge and stumble back to the kitchen, dump the remains in a Pyrex casserole dish and run back with paper towels. 2 rolls later and the place is still sodden so I raid the towel cupboard and continue with the frantic mopping. Next thing Mr T walks in and looks at me like I've just slaughtered the first born of every family in Croydon and without saying anything he stomps off to the shed. I'm hyper-ventilating now.

Back armed with one of those Aqua Carpet Cleaner things he takes over with a sarcastic 'I'll do it' look on his face. Huffing and puffing just to make sure I feel worse that I already do. 20 minutes later it's looking much better but we'll have to wait till it dries before we know if we've managed to get the stain out.

After a couple of fags to de-stress we polish off the remains of the wine from the casserole dish and retire to bed.

I'm sure I caught a glimpse of the dog smiling to herself before I closed the bedroom door!

Friday, 3 June 2011

The one about the D&G specs (June 2004)

After an evening cursing at all things broadband I thought I'd just switch the whole damn lot off before I burst a blood vessel. Snuggled under the duvet to watch a bit of telly. Wondering if there would be any more punch ups in the Big Brother house tonight.

Next thing I know I'm woken by something poking into my cheek. Lifting my head off the pillow and squinting in the semi-darkness I see my new D&G specs staring back at me in bits. I was still half alseep so anger didn't hit me at that precise moment. Instead I just kinda looked at them for a bit - well 5 bits to be exact. I'm wide awake now and after a few muttered expletives I rolled over to check the time and sent the bed side lamp flying across the room taking the clock, my mobile phone and a bottle of Nivea sensitive balm with it. Needless to say the dog starts having hysteria at all this commotion. I slump out of bed screaming abuse at the dog and pick up the debris from the floor. It's 6.40am on a Saturday morning!

Oh and did I mention that the TV is still on but has somehow changed from E4 to MTV Dance during my fight with the specs and on comes Alice Deejay singing about it how we're 'Better off alone'................Belgian Bitch!

So I chase the dog down the hall to the kitchen muttering obscenities. It's really hard to make STFU sound like you mean it when you're whispering. Make a cup of coffee and chuck some Cesar in her dish to shut her up. Was just about to go back to bed when Mr T surfaces in his Littlewood's boxer shorts and a knitted brow. I apologise for waking him and make some more coffee. He's now staring at me and looking a bit concerned. I know I'm no oil painting in the morning but this is a bit unsettling. Finally he says 'What happened to you'. What did he mean? 'Your face'.

I go into the bathroom and there before me is what can only be described as a seagull attack! My face is covered in scratches. All over. With a sliver of raw flesh hanging off the end of my nose! How could the D&Gs have caused so much damage? Mind you looking at the pillow carnage it must have been quite a fracas during the night.

After a shower and a bottle of Tea Tree lotion the visage was looking slightly better but blimey - what a mess.

Had to go shopping to Sainsburys so I covered up in a baseball cap and sunglasses 'a la Posh Spice' to hide the chopped up face and just drew more attention to myself.

Bumped into fat bloke and his noisy bird from over the road (the pair that leave their windows open during love-making so we can all hear her sounding like she's having her wisdom teeth extracted with a spanner) and she asks why I'm in disguise.

So I take the cap and glasses off and she nods sagely 'Got a new kitten Steve'. I didn't feel inclined to tell it was a pair of F'ing D&G specs.