Sunday, 25 September 2011

Revisionist Dialogue

I’m not one to be nostalgic.

...wait, that’s not right.

I suffer from chronic nostalgia. Why else would I indulge myself with this blog? As the observant amongst you may have gleaned, I harbour quite the collection of regrets. A classier individual would preserve them in their original packaging and keep them in mint condition deep inside while trying to ignore the gradual onset of debilitating personality defects. For better or worse, I prefer to replay incessantly the regretful incidents inside my skull like never-ending repeats of Top Gear. And to soothe my deflated ego, I’ll often take the opportunity to revise my words and actions for a more favourable imaginary outcome.

So here’s a collection of past exchanges where the stammering that tumbled from my mouth could have taken a more desirable shape. 

Girl: ‘I’m impressed you managed to find me among all these people.’

What I should have said: ‘Thank my childhood tracking razorbacks in the bewintered belts of forest on the Rhine.’

What I actually said: ‘I remember what you look like from behind.’ 

Friend (angry after I’d thrown my 20-stone frame down onto his prone body): ‘Your tits are bigger than my mum’s!’

What I should have said: ‘I’ve got something bigger to give your mum!’ or ‘You still suck your mum’s tits!’ or something equally witty at the age of 13.

What I actually said: *waddles away crying*

Girl in chat-room (Honeybunch69): ‘Tell me you love me.’

What I should have said: ‘Honeybunch69, you seem like a really nice girl. I completely believe that you’re 16, large-breasted, and dripping wet at the thought of cyber-sex with a fat, perspiring 12-year old on his mum’s computer. But I don’t think a chat-room is the proper medium for declaring our love. Perhaps we should give it some time, get to know each other a bit, and see where our emotions lead us.’

What I actually said: ‘I love you. Wanna cyber?’

Girlfriend: ‘Do you mind if we watch the X-Factor?’


What I actually said: ‘Of course I don’t mind!’

Karl Kennedy from Neighbours: ‘Did you guys enjoy the show?’

What I should have said: ‘Karl, my love, it was the single most arousing moment of my life. Now put those talented hands on my body.’

What I actually said: ‘Yeah! I thought you’d be shit!’

Attractive girl (noticing a pattern?): ‘It’s late, you can just stay here if you want.’

What I should have said: *porn bass* It’s natural
                                        It’s chemical (let’s do it)
                                        It’s logical
                                        Habitual (can we do it?)
                                        It’s sensual
                                        But most of all...
                                        Sex is something we should do
                                        Sex is something for me and you

                                        I’m not your father
                                        I’m not your brother
                                        Talk to your sister
                                        I am a lover

                                        C-c-c-c-come on!’

What I actually said: ‘No, I think I’m coming down with something. I’ll just get snot all over your pillows.’

Perhaps taking sex advice from George Michael is where I’ve gone astray all along

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Jury Duty

All of us, at one time or another, when parked in front of cartoons on a Saturday morning or left alone in a corner of the playground, dreamed of being a superhero or vigilante with the power to singlehandedly bring bad guys to justice. Sadly, as we mature and realise the likelihood of being knifed, these ambitions go unfulfilled. It should have delighted me then, when I played an instrumental part in sending someone to prison for murder.

Now, anyone that’s done jury duty will have already dismissed this as *ahem* ‘bigging myself up.’ I concede that, by and large, jury duty is a tedious ordeal that would be unbearable without a generous supply of Polos. Television has lied to us. Lawyers don’t shout at each other. Judges don’t bang a hammer. The closest thing to a surprise witness was a man who thought he heard a shout, ‘but it might have been his cat.’ Nonetheless, I was the last juror called for an above-average trial. A murder case.

It would be inappropriate to go into detail. After a fight between two gangs of teenagers, one boy had his skull caved in. The case was made more complicated by the main suspect committing suicide in custody, so the trial stretched on for 3 largely uneventful weeks. The main revelation that emerged during this period? Apparently using your lunch allowance to eat 4 Twix bars every day will result in it becoming difficult to fit on the end of the jury bench.

Fortunately I had my own chair when it came time to retire to a private room and reach a verdict. The judge provided a number of steps for us to consider that would render different sentences. Clearing the first step meant an assault charge. If we cleared the second and third steps, manslaughter. The final step; murder.

Gathered around a large table, the 12 of us agreed without objection to the assault charge. Soon, the majority had also cleared step two. And that’s where we hit a wall. The rest was a slippery slope; if we went any further there was no stopping until we reached the murder charge. We took a preliminary vote to proceed. Only I raised my hand.

The choice left to me was either to relent and let the boy get a relatively short sentence, or to try and talk the others round. So I rolled up my sleeves.

I didn’t do this for the sake of it. I wasn’t on a power trip, nor did I feel personal animosity toward the defendant. Even if he did seem like a cunt. I truly believed he was guilty of murder. And the problem was that everyone else around the table knew it, but were too scared to have the delivery of a life sentence on their conscience. It was questionable if one or two of the older jurors actually knew where they were.

One-by-one, I convinced them all to push for a murder charge. Like the games I used to play in the corner of the playground, I cited evidence, phrased an argument, and stabbed the air with a pen in a vaguely threatening manner. I was a superhero, a vigilante; I was Popeye, fuelled by Twix’s instead of spinach. And an hour later when we voted again, every single person raised their hand.

            ‘How does the jury find the defendant on the charge of murder?’

            ‘Guilty, your honour.’

The boy collapsed in the dock. A strange blend of euphoria and guilt whirled in my gut. This wasn’t how it had felt all those times I defeated the imaginary villain. The family of the victim cried and screamed as bailiffs led the guilty away. This was the only part of the trial that was just like it is on television. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Dave's Big Blog of Dating 2: The Disappointing Franchise Sequel Reboot

It has been brought to my attention (by me) that my previous blog, ‘Dave’s Big Blog of Dating’ (‘A woefully inept and frequently risible exploration of self-pity – 1 star’ ~ The Daily Express) was perhaps a smidgeon biased in my favour. Insofar as it focused almost exclusively on incidents which portrayed me as the tragic put-upon victim of evil female soul-sucking harpies who sunk their claws into my unexpecting back while I fed starving vagrant kittens from my bare hands.

So in the interest of fairness, this blog is about the times I have been a dick. It’s less a sequel, more like one of those films that happens at the same time as the previous one and fills in holes that were never there in the first place. Like The Lion King 1.5. But less shit.

Let’s strain a metaphor for a moment. My relationship with women is much like my relationship with biscuits. I love biscuits. I admire biscuits. I covet biscuits. Yet when I get my hands on biscuits, I become riddled with doubts. Do I really want these biscuits? Is it the right thing to eat these biscuits? Despite my love for the biscuits, I will always find a reason not to eat them because it isn’t the right thing to do.

Biscuits are awesome. But I can’t make them last.

I’ve had 2 girlfriends in my life, and I broke up with them both. One of them via a shameful combination of text and Facebook message. As far as I’m aware, both of them were quite fond of me, and I was fond of them. Yet I found reasons to end those relationships. When I lie awake and think of these reasons, sometimes I still think they were valid. Other times I don’t understand them, and wonder why I shot myself in the foot. I don’t know if I was justified. But neither girl saw it coming.

I wish I’d treated both of them better.

I lack self-confidence and I’m also a coward. Think of the character in a rom-com that’s supposed to be ugly because they wear oversized spectacles. Then take away the inner fire and determination that redeems them and eventually wins the popular person’s heart. This is another strained metaphor, this time for myself.

A few times during university I had girls interested in me, but I wasn’t sure if I was interested back. So I’d entertain their attention for a while, until I decided against it. Then I’d act aloof or cut off contact.

I’m sure none of these women went away distraught and threw themselves under the nearest racehorse. Yet I know I could have handled it less like periphery beefcake in an episode of Sex and the City.

Fate offers easy absolution. We just weren’t meant to be together! Those biscuits just fell into my basket! You weren’t supposed to see me trying on your underwear! The theory I operate under when I need to lighten the guilt, is that the majority of the girls I was a dick to found earth-rending love soon after. It wasn’t meant to be! I would have unwittingly kept them from their soul-mate! I was just the My First Walkman of boys, the nappy before they became a big kid.

My lasting hope is that an interminable awareness of my indiscretions means that this blog need never have a threequel. They’re always shit anyway.

...except for Die Hard With a Vengeance. That movie’s awesome

Monday, 5 September 2011

Dave's Big Blog of Dating

As you will all have gathered by now, I am quite the exuberant ladies man. A swarthy lothario, if you will. So successful am I that I have compiled a short list of things not to do whilst engaged in a date. These are absolutely NOT based on personal experience, and I have absolutely NOT done every single bloody one of them at some point in my limp dating history.

- Karaoke is not a good first date destination. Girls will not be impressed by your air guitar acrobatics nor your ability to hold the long falsetto at the finale of Sweet Child O’ Mine like a castrated Gregorian monk with crayfish clamped on his nipples. Addendum: Do not proceed to propose a duet.

- If a restaurant offers free dessert to apologise for poor service, play it cool. Perhaps suggest sharing one between the two of you. Do not order the two biggest desserts on the menu, and spend the interim before its arrival finding variations on the sentiment, ‘Free dessert! Free! Free dessert! Dessert for FREE!’ Further, do not insist on finishing hers once your own has long since been consumed.

- Do not perform your Samuel L. Jackson impression. It’s not funny and it’s vaguely racist.

- When the girl you’re on a date with asks you to help pick the outfit she should wear to another date with a different guy, don’t actually help her choose a nice ensemble. Choose something incredibly ugly to put off your rival. Alternatively, punch the girl in the face.

- Do not tell your date about your personal tradition of Bread Tuesday. Learn from this example. Years later, do not tell your date that you made a bet with yourself to never use a knife to cut food for the entire three years of university. Especially when that isn’t even remotely true. It is not a quirky conversational gambit to break an awkward silence. It is a fucking stupid thing to say.

And now to break the wafer-thin pretence of this blog with some advice on how not to behave when rejected after a date.

- The least convincing excuse I ever received for the cancellation of a second date was that a printer she really wanted was on sale for one day only in her home town and she just had to make the journey lest this incredible offer pass her by. Do not believe this excuse and offer to meet her at the train station to carry said printer home for her. You can not possibly look more pathetic.

- Do not chain-eat seven packets of biscuits and spend the night vomiting a variety pack smoothie.

- It isn’t romantic to scour the internet for the girl’s address and send her a big packet of the sweets she vaguely mentioned she liked. It’s creepy. You will look as if you’re trying to groom her future children for a franchise reboot of failed dates.

- On the rare occasion that a partnership goes several dates deep, my common experience is that inevitably, the girl loses interest after a short time. This is frequently my own fault (see everything written above), particularly coupled with a crippling terror and incompetence in putting on the sexy moves. However, the girl often doesn’t quite have the heart to tell me this, because hey, maybe they, like, see me as more of a friend? *insert smiley emoticon to cap off rejection e-mail* Recognise the signs: tailing off of previously frequent communication, particularly textual messages. Poorly realised excuses (see point 1 of this section). Being informed via go-between that she got off with this totally hot guy last night and it was totally the sexiest moment of her life. Get the message. Do not harangue her with needling text messages, online messages, pathetic status updates, and lovelorn notes through doors. Like, totally try and maintain a shred of dignity.

- Do not get drunk, black out, and wake up many hours later on the floor of a strange house with a black eye and a phone outbox full of increasingly incomprehensible text messages informing the girl that you ‘rfalmy luve hdr’ and that ‘thdyve kjkef me oot nd i bjn sibk maycd wd cam takk?’ Such mellifluous verbiage will not win her heart nor explain to the person who’s house you’re in who the hell you are.

(Prizes for whoever can decipher those text messages – all week at Crazy Dave’s!)

- Lastly, if you ever want to break this streak of disaster, do not write an overlong, self-pitying blog post
about how pathetic... bugger.