The countdown continues as we reach the halfway point. Have you found your ideal Christmas present yet? So far we have had the Channel 4 Comedy Gala, then Peter Kay, then Kevin Bridges, and yesterday, Jimmy Carr. Today it is the turn of the future Mayor of London.

Number 6 is…

eddie izzard

Eddie Izzard- Number 6

Wow! Now, for those new to my style of reviewing, I’m simply going to review the cover, not the contents. And this cover’s a stunner. It makes me think of this:

nightmare before christmasWith a little bit of this:

time tunnelAnd just a typeface touch of this:

BIg Yellow Self Storage Company

It’s Eddie Izzard. And his show is called Force Majeure Live.

That’s a two thirds French title, but don’t worry, the DVD isn’t in French. Or, if you are French, do worry. Or not. You choose.

But what does it mean? Heck knows. Here’s a hastily researched online definition:

noun: force majeure
Meaning 1:  Law – unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.
Meaning 2:  Irresistible compulsion or superior strength.
Does that help? Meaning 1 makes me think the concert didn’t even go ahead. And meaning 2 worries me. Is Eddie the force majeure, or did a mighty wind blow through the arena, disturbing his tie? I don’t know.

This is an ultraviolent copy. And, as a result of it being ultraviolent you can watch it anytime, anywhere. A bit like The Goodies.

It’s another 15 certificate twice, making it suitable for 30 year olds.

He also (and I admit I didn’t get this info from the cover, but rather from the guardian yesterday) plans to consider entering into politics as either Mayor of  London, or just parliament in general, around about May 2019. the 17th.

That’s 6 years away! 6 YEARS AWAY!

A priest once said to me “never trust a comedian who wants power over us. In the future. Around about May”.

Eddie Izzard is “a genius”.

Tomorrow, number 5.

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Now it’s glasses

March 6, 2012

A couple of blog posts ago I wrote about a certain pastor’s/prophet’s/wizard’s watch. look! Here it is again if you missed it, and you can read about it here.

It’s a poster in one of those electric light hoardings, somewhere between Morley’s chicken hut and Babur’s tiger palace, in a place that could be Honor Oak Park, or, perhaps, Forest Hill. Maybe, but not quite, Crofton Park? Bromley? Brockley? Narnia anyone?

I don’t know. All I know, it’s not a place to advertise. It’s doomed to failure. It’s a cursed electric light advert zone. First it was the watch. Now, it’s the glasses. What gives, Paddick?

This man wants to be mayor. Of London. Of course, he won’t be. That’s not me being mean. It’s just the truth. And look! He knows it! He’s taken an advert out in the ‘This Watch’ zone. And he’s swapped the watch for glasses. Let’s look closer at those glasses.

What, on Earth, does he want this poster to say to us? Other than, ‘I’ve given up’? Is he hoping, somewhere in a dark place where he hasn’t even realised it yet, for a ‘we all love our patios, don’t we’ John Stalker style ad campaign? For glasses? One day, when he is still not mayor, will he drive a saloon, with a personalised number plate? SPEC5AVERS?

And what of the slogan, You break it. You fix it? It’s a bit much, isn’t it. For someone who’s naturally clumsy like me. I’m always breaking things. I do my best, for sure, but really Brian ‘Specsavers’ Paddick, I can do without further pressure.

I know. I’m being silly. He’s talking about the criminals. As the poster says; ‘I will make criminals repair the damage they’ve done’.

It doesn’t really comfort me. When I was 15 I was attacked by some lads. I had my nose badly broken and spent five days in hospital. I’m still grateful that a qualified surgeon operated on me and not some crack-crazed scobber out for watch related kicks (‘ave yer got the time mate? Looks at my watch. That’s not the time. Whomp! Blackout. I come round, three lads hovering over me. That’s not ‘im, that’s not ‘im. They run and I swim home in a pool of blood.)

I’m glad someone who’s reshaped noses before sawed and hacked and pushed back into place my gristly conk. Brian ‘Specsavers’ Paddick may mean well. This mayor hopeless may well say to the anti- semitic thug; come on lad, you broke it, you fix it. But honestly, no thanks. You’ve done enough damage. Please keep away from me. Please, don’t even enter the operating theatre.

 (The attack was anti-semitic, though I am not Jewish. I was mistaken for being Jewish as I walked through the grounds of King David School in Crumpsall whistling the current no.1, I Will Survive).

But again, I’m being silly. He doesn’t mean that, does he? He means he’ll make them mend doors and locks and glasses (the drinking types) and jewelry and fences and bites from vicious dogs and… Oh, Lord alone knows what he means.

He won’t get to mayor. Look! There’s Red Ken peeking over his shoulder, thanks to some crafty framing by me. And look! Here’s ‘Blue Cock’ Boris giving you a chicken run for your money.

He hasn’t got a hope.

Though all is not lost. The money for this useless campaign with its truly rubbishy slogan may not have been spent in vain. The hundreds, maybe thousands, of pounds will have been used wisely if Brian carries the slogan forward for when he gets his Specsavers job. It’s a cheap insurance policy isn’t it; you sit on your glasses and hey… You break it. You fix it.  And if you can’t, just use your second BOGOF pair.

Who will be mayor? You decide:

Who you gonna call?

December 2, 2010

If you’ve got a problem with a ghost (and I hope you haven’t, unless it’s a Casper and he’s friendly… but then he won’t be a problem, will he?) then you know what to do. You know who to call. Ghostbusters. The one and only. Ring them, they come, they sort you out. There may be other ghost-busting agencies available, but not to my knowledge. It’s all so easy. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters. Sorted.

Now let’s say you’ve got a problem with the weather. A bit of snow. And let’s say the trains are not up to the job. Who you gonna call?

Tricky, isn’t it.

A few years back you’d have called the train equivalent of Ghostbusters; a little-remembered institution called British Rail. They were responsible for all train things. Snow? Want to know what to do? How to get somewhere? What’s running? What’s not? Who you gonna call? British Rail.

But they had to go. I’m not sure why. I guess they just weren’t making enough money for the men in suits.

So, everything got split up and now who are you gonna call? Network Rail. They own and operate Britain’s rail infrastructure. If you have a problem with infrastructure, call them.

The trains I tend to use are operated by Southeastern. They provide services for South london. Should I call them?

Yers, the snow’s bad. I’m sure it affects trains and infrastructure in ways I can’t begin to understand. It seems to affect information display boards too. And staff.

The information boards freeze up and just tell us there is disruption. The staff freeze up and lock themselves away.

It’s not the staff’s fault. And I don’t balme them for locking themselves away. It seems they are as much in the dark as me.

Two days ago, at Hither Green Station, I waited for a train. It wasn’t snowing, but it had been. A bit. Trains were delayed. I looked at the info things just wanting to know which platform I should wait on. They weren’t working. I went to he counter. All three ticket booths had the ‘closed’ blinds pulled down. The door on the platform which is always open so you can speak to someone… closed. In time I tracked down a member of staff. I was nice. He was nice. They are all  nice at Hither Green. He was apologetic. After a bit of polite banter I asked him why no info was displayed. It was because they had none… that’s ok, Im thinking, but why don’t they put up info that says they have no info. Something along these lines:

Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no “knowns.” There are thing we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that’s basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.

It sounds like a riddle. It isn’t a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter.

Donald Rumsfeld at NATO 6th June 2002

Tell us something, don’t just hide away!

I did ask the member of staff why they didn’t just make regular announcements. Even if it’s just letting us know there’s nothing to announce. He said they weren’t allowed to/didn’t have the facilities (one of the two, I can’t remember which).

In time I got where I was going.

Then I had to come home.

At Waterloo East about fifty people gathered around an info desk. I asked the man if he knew what platform the next train might arrive at. At that point his colleague leaned over and said “we don’t have to take this abuse.” The man I was talking to tuned to his colleague and said “He isn’t being abusive, he’s being very polite”. Thank you sir. And then his colleague declared “I don’t have to take any more abuse!” She ripped the cables out from underneath her monitor and stormed off.

Moments later an angry passenger behind me called out “Why don’t you just shout loudly so we can all hear. If there are no trains just tell us.”

I turned and shouted “There are no trains.” He looked at me and said “a bit more information would be nice!”

It’s just crazy.

I shouldn’t complain. At least I didn’t get stuck on a train overnight.

A few days ago I went to see Unstoppable, the new Tony Scott/ Denzel Washington runaway train extravaganza. Southeastern should make their own non-action film, Stoppable.

Or Network Rail. Who do I pitch it to?

 

 

I’ve messed up. I’ve denied myself my right. On Thursday, when you can all vote I, like the insane, prisoners, and the aristocracy (and sometimes these groups do overlap), won’t be able to. I’ll be in Manchester, visiting my mum who’ll have just had an operation. And I live, and vote, in London.

These things are covered. You can vote by post or by proxy. But the deadline for a proxy vote was Tuesday 27th. I checked my poll card. On the back it says “In certain circumstances it may be possible to apply to vote by proxy after the deadline. To change any of your voting arrangements please contact the helpline number shown overleaf as soon as possible”.

I’m not too good at as soon as possible. I left it too late. I phoned today. I explained my certain circumstances. But they weren’t good enough. I asked what would enable me to apply for proxy after the deadline. They said I’d need to be in a car crash. This is true. This is what they said to me.

I want to vote. I’m tempted to plan a car crash but my worry is that, once executed, my plan would clearly indicate that I am insane. It’s one of those catch 22 things.

I’m happy to come clean. if I were to vote I’d vote Lib Dem. If I were dead I’d describe myself as a lifelong Labour voter, but I’ve still some time to go so I’m happy to change and give my vote (that I can’t give) to the man who’s shagged less than 30 women. I’ve shagged less than 30 women too, so I feel a kind of kinship. Give the Sheffield shagger a shot.

A year ago today I wrote my first blog entry. You can find it here. It’s a test one really, not about much; though in saying that I do Bobbin and Tess a disservice.

A year ago I was full of crazy excitement. Blogging was a new adventure. I hadn’t got a clue what I would write. I felt that bit by bit, writing at least a post a day, I would find my feet and discover why I was doing this.

A year on I’ve slowed down a bit. No post every day, but I try for a couple a week. And I’ve expanded. We’ve got the Trev and Simon blog on the go, and I’ve started 20th Century Mummified Fox– a blog where I can indulge in my love of films.

I still don’t know why I’m doing this. I haven’t found my feet. Of course it’s an indulgence; no doubt I am showing off, but showing off what? It’s not a comedy blog. It’s not some kind of confessional. I’m no film critic. Nor a photographer. But this blog is made up of bits of all of these. And lots of animals.

And it keeps me busy when times are tough. I enjoy it. And so, sometimes, do some of you. All of the people who come here and read or look, thank you. I know there’s lots of blogs out there, blah blah blah airline appreciation speech.

And thank you all for your comments. I enjoy reading them and I enjoy the interaction. And, to my pleasant surprise, the comments over the year have been thoughtful and considered, even when being critical. I haven’t, as yet, had to delete any for taking the chance to hurl abuse at me. Still, there’s time. My blog is just a baby.

Since the whole blogging thing is one enormous indulgence, for Mummified Fox’s first birthday I am going to pick some of my blog favourites from my 234 posts. One from each month.

November 2008- This and That’s Entertainment. Every year I go to Great Yarmouth to play pool. But which is best, Great Yarmouth or Las Vegas?

December 2008- Tommie Smith and John Carlos. I drag my family to see the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statue in San Jose.

January 2009- Murderer. Me, Trev and Cyndi Lauper have a close shave with Coronation Street murderer Tony Gordon.

February 2009- Deal or No Deal on the Dole. Ok, a bit of a weird one. this is a story about Deal or No Deal, Noel Edmonds, a luckless contestant, and Cosmic ordering.

March 2009- The Nazis. I drew them at school and only got a B+.

April 2009- A Nightingale sang in the 100 Club. A sort of review of the Nightingales and Ted Chippington.

May 2009- “Yes, I spent money on furniture”. Shadow Education Secretary Michael Gove and the elephant lamps we bought him. Including comments from the man himself (or so it seems).

June 2009- Pigs, a goose and a sheep. Just as it says.

July 2009- I’m going to cheat here and mention two posts. I’m not quite sure why it’s cheating; there’s no rules, it’s my blog. But at the top of this post I did say I’d pick one from each month, so yes, I am cheating. First Like the circles that you find– a guide to reglazing windows. And also RIP Rob. Rob sold the Big Issue outside Hither Green station. He died in July.

August 2009- Little and Large. My mum and dad used to go to The Talk of the North in the 70’s and see all the top acts. Years later I get to meet one of them.

September 2009- The Rogers Brothers and the Cox twins. The real life inspiration for two of our characters.

October 2009- Bigmouth strikes again. Possibly my most personal and indulgent post and also my most commented on.

So there’s some of my favourites for the year. If you click on any of them I hope you enjoy them. And if you do, please look at some of the remaining 221 posts.

I was going to use the blog’s first birthday to say why it’s called Mummified Fox. but I’m going to save that for next year.

Mummified-Fox-1st-birthday

Happy 1st Birthday Mummified Fox

What does Lembit Opik know about wigs, the cheeky bugger. How dare he use our money to buy a cheap and nasty nylon wig for £19.99 and then claim it is “the mother of all wigs”! If he’s going to use our money to buy a wig he should do the decent thing and get a bloody good one.

wigsThese are proper wigs, made from human hair. Yes! Real human hair! From poor people… Wait a minute, I can’t remember now… They’re possibly made from horse hair. From poor horses. One way or another they are proper wigs and they cost £14,700 each. And guess what? We didn’t buy them! No! You did! You, dear taxpayer, bought these wigs and hundreds more for us to wear on a regular basis between 1987 and 1997.

Feel free to kick up a fuss. We weren’t at a charity event with a Cheeky Girl on our arm. Our justification for such a profiligate waste of your money is that we wore these wigs to entertain the nation, but let’s be honest; we wore them to entertain ourselves.

Please feel free to complain to the BBC. And to make matters worse and to give you even more cause to kick up a stink, we were paid to wear them. I know! It’s shocking! It’s an outrage!

Lembit’s wig would undoubtedly have been rubbish and not funny at all. This is how he would have looked if he’d used our money a little more wisely and spent a few hundred quid on a proper hair topping.

lembit_opik_gabriela_irimia_210 copy

Look at him. That’s much better isn’t it. You’d kiss him wouldn’t you? In that wig, I’d kiss him.

Damn these politicians and their perks. Second homes, moats, duck houses, elephant lamps- No wonder the cheekiest of girls fall for them (mind you, they don’t stick around once the Telegraph comes a-calling). If only I could hang around with a Cheeky Girl at some daft charity do or suchlike, say, a Tracey Beaker special for Children in Need from a few years back. W-w-w-w-w-wait a minute!!!

Cheeky-Cheeky

Who cares?

June 4, 2009

Polling-station

Well, no one it seems.

I’ve just been to vote. I walk into a near empty school hall; one person voting, two official people sitting behind a desk. As I hand my card to the official lady I jauntily ask “been busy?” She gives a wry yet kind smile and rolls her eyes heavenwards. I like those sort of conversations.

I’ve waited all day to vote. I work from home and it’s just around the corner. But I wanted to see if anyone called. Who’d make an effort?

I’ve been in all day. No bell rang. No car rolled down the street with two trumpety loudhailers on its roof, booming unintelligible dogma. I’ve not even had a leaflet through the door. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve had a leaflet from USDAW telling me why I should support Labour. Not vote for them, just support them. Well, shy old labour, shamed old labour, don’t get the unions to do your dirty work for you. Come and meet me face to face. Come and tell me why I should vote for you and what all this European parliament thing is.

No. No one’s called. No one’s been around offering me a lift. What’s happened to the politicians of today?

And no one was there voting. In the middle of a large school hall there was a circular table divided into quadrants. Just one table for four people to vote at a time! Even the organisers expected no one to show.

Where were the people who hang around the front doors, asking for your number, just so they now you’ve voted? They used to do that. And then, in the dying hours, if you hadn’t been, they’d come and get you. Pester you. Plead with you for their vote.

The public don’t care. The politicians don’t care.

Usually they announce how many people voted  as a percentage. This time round they’ll say “Pick a number between one and 10”.

Boyle-ing point

June 3, 2009

I haven’t written for a while, and for those of you who may drop by here every now and then, just to see what’s what,  well, I apologise.

It’s something to do with the world going crazy. Little world, not big World, I guess, because it seems to all be happening in Britain. (Well, other than Obama saying “Hey North Korea, sort yourselves out soon or else”- they put on a good parade though don’t they?) but yes, nuclear bombs are back in fashion, a Peter Kay spoof of reality talent shows has become a reality, and politicians are dropping like flies. Are there any left? The printed press can’t keep up. I go out and buy the paper to enjoy with my lunch only to unfold it and find it already full of chips.

The world is going mental. What once was movies, fiction and non; what once was Rainman, I am Sam, Shine, Dumb and Dumber, Being There– is now protected and championed by Amanda Holden (from afar across the oceans), nurtured by Simon Cowell, and married to Piers. And our politicians continue to fall.

But the Prime Minister, our dour doer, phones I am Sam and all is well. And tomorrow we will vote.

How will you vote? For one of the big three? Green, Christian and Nazi? Or a fringe no-hoper like Labour? Don’t, DON’T even think of voting BNP. Our world may be mad but let us not make it mad and bad. I know you won’t. Spoiling votes could be fun. They still have to be counted. They have to be acknowledged. They say to someone somewhere that we think you have spoilt the party. Why not draw a nice picture of a goose? Or a scary picture of a clown? Or rub some cheese on your ballot so it smells. Or make it into a paper plane. If you do something creative please let me know.

Oh! And my computer blew up. Well, the monitor. Bang! Sparks! Smoke! reset fusebox!

Above ground too.

Today is one of those days. And it’s been a bit like that since I went to see Synecdoche, New York last… what day was it? Last week. But when? Oh, yes, Wednesday. I put a plea out on Twitter for a “follower” to meet me at the cinema; any follower; then we could do the Orange Wednesday thing. Go before 5pm, meet a friend who only has to pretend to be a friend (they can sit as far away from me as they choose once in the cinema) and suddenly we see a film for £3. It’s a bargain. But nobody showed. I’m guessing my Twitter followers thought I was joking… or are only pretending to follow me thinking it makes me feel better. Well, it does. Even when I know you are only pretending. I am happy to have pretend followers where even if you are real followers you are still only following me in pretend because it is Twitter and it’s not real and it will fade and die only to be replaced by MindPamphlet or YouBully.

I can’t write about Synecdoche, New York. Not yet. Maybe never. I don’t know what to say and no one is whispering in my ear. I wish they were. It’s a great film and maybe the saddest film I’ve ever seen and I am going to go and see it again tomorrow. It is a film though that could send me into a deep state of inertia. Sometimes somethings are so true that I truly don’t know what to do next.

If you are thinking of seeing it, see what you think of this; the Minister in the play within the film gives his sermon:

“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years. And you’ll never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it’s what you create. Even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along. Something to make you feel connected, to make you feel whole, to make you feel loved. And the truth is I’m so angry and the truth is I’m so fucking sad, and the truth is I’ve been so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long have been pretending I’m OK, just to get along, just for, I don’t know why, maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own, and their own is too overwhelming to allow them to listen to or care about mine. Well, fuck everybody. Amen.”

Or this, from the character Millicent Weems:

“What was once before you – an exciting, mysterious future – is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone’s experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone’s everyone.”

You’ll know if this appeals to you or not. And don’t be down, there are some laughs along the way too. Just like in life.

I hope Charlie Kaufman doesn’t mind me pinching bits from his film for my blog. I do it with the best of intentions. And though I will not claim to be his biggest fan or his number 1 fan I do claim my place as fan number 5,432,679.

And today I finished “My Fault” by Billy Childish. If you fancy, there is a good interview with him here. And this too leaves me unable to write. I’d love to write a review of this book telling you how great it is and how you should read it, but I just don’t have the will, the energy, or the little voice whispering in my ear. But do read it. Or just read the interview in the link and look at his paintings.

Ok, let’s end on a summery pic.

mummified frog

mummified frog

Oh, and if this post is a little down, I’m blaming the MP’s.


Hazel BlearsIn 1997 I received a phone call from Brentnall Primary School, my old school in Salford. Well, not the school, of course, but someone who worked there. (Ah! Now I understand synecdoche).

The school had to go. Too few pupils. Children, in Salford, were dwindling. But there were still pupils at the school and where were they to go? And why were they phoning me? They thought that my (at the time) ‘P’ list celebrity status (it’s much much lower now) might be able to somehow prevent the closure. I said, in the words of Jarvis Cocker, “I’ll see what I can do.”

I hadn’t a clue. The first thing I did was close my eyes and stand in a dark room, swinging my pants. I don’t know to this day if it was a bizzare attempt at some form of meditation, some kind of remote school-saving, or if it was just a nervous reaction; a panic act, a harmless alternative to nail biting or excessive masturbation.

After a bit of thought my head cleared. I was a professional idiot, not a politician; it’s their job to save schools. And so my plan started to form. I would contact Brentnall Primary School’s nearest politician and get them to save the damned place of education.

I’d never contacted a politician before. How do you do it? Well, they all put their phone numbers in the phone book! And so this is how I came to phone Hazel Blears at the Houses of Parliament.

I say phone Hazel Blears… I just phoned a number of an office and all I got was an answerphone. I left a message- I was phoning about my old school, don’t close it, leave it open... please… – that kind of thing.

An hour later my phone rang. It was HAZEL BLEARS! She phoned me up herself. A politician! I was so shocked. I’d never spoken to a politician before. What was I supposed to do? Bow? Over the phone? Or spit? I truly had no idea.

We talked a bit. She knew of the school, and of its plight, and she said, in the words of Jarvis Cocker, “I’ll see what I can do.”

She wrote to me. It was hardly 84 Charing Cross Road, but it meant a lot at the time. And the school stayed open. The system worked! The school was going to close, we contacted the local MP, she fought, the school won.

In time it was knocked down. But Brentnall Primary School still exists. It’s smaller now, in a smaller building yards from its original location. But that’s ok isn’t it? There are fewer children in Salford these days.

And this is why I’ll miss Hazel Blears if she has to go. She’s done a bad thing. But no worse than Hoon and Purnell it seems. Yet it looks like Gordon Brown will stick up for them whilst sticking it to old Hazel Nut.

So Hazel, I’m on your side (sort of). I’ll stick up for you (though you are very very bad and wrong). You see, I’m a sucker. She was there for me when I needed an MP. And I fancy her.

(picture thanks to The Daily Mail… hope that’s ok)