Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Adventures of Boring Tom - Part Two

One day Boring Tom went to the shop to buy crisps.

"Cheese and Onion again?" said the woman behind the counter.
"I think I might try a different flavor for a change," Boring Tom said. "What colour are Prawn Cocktail?"

"They're the pink ones."

"Pink?" said Boring Tom. "That's an astounding colour. I think I'll just stick with Cheese and Onion."

Artwork by Ryan O"Neill check more of his work out here.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Twilight - A Review

I was playing the good boyfriend the other night when my sweet honey pie said: "Let's watch twilight," and I said, "Aye okay then."

That's actually a bit of a lie. I was interested to see it. I know I'm not in the target audience (teenage girls) but I've always had a liking for the whole Vampire mythos and have enjoy the genre very much.

So down we sat to watch the Twilight! (or just Twilight, I've a habit of prefixing nouns with 'the').

Both of us had the best intentions but I was very happy when at about an hour in my girlfriend asked if I was enjoying the film as little as she was.

We kept watching anyway and talked as it progressed about what we thought was wrong with the film.

Firstly, the main female Bella is unremarkable as a person. Apart from Edward (the hot Vampire boy) not being able to read her thoughts (and he can read everyone elses) and he wants to drink her blood (but won't) there's no real substance to their relationship.

They have nothing really linking them except for the relationship itself, which is a thinly disguised metaphor for not having premarital sex.

Bella spends a lot of the film looking slightly startled (as you would if you found out you were dating someone who wanted to drink your blood - regardless of how much they say they won't actually do it).

She is rude to her friends. When she arrives new in town and doesn't know anyone. A few people at her new school become her friends (okay some of the guys want to diddle her but it's better than getting your deep wee head flushed down the bogs as is usually par for the course). She doesn't really give a fuck what they're at and when her and Edward go to the prom all her mates are happy to see her (even though they think she's dating a wanker) and wave hello. At which point Edward and Bella decide to fuck off without even speaking. How deep?

Edward in fact spends a lot of the film being deep and taking about five minutes of deep shaking to get a sentence out.

Late on in the film he introduces Bella to his family (the other vampires) and they all go and play baseball - like radical, cool, slamming funk baby, get down. The family have very little substance but since Twilight is the first in a franchise we can assume that later films will flesh them out (I'm sooooo witty), so for now we can let this go, although it's a bit frustrating to just have them all dumped on us all at once. It's like being left in a room full of people you don't know at a party to find that the only thing they talk about with any excitement about is Jane Austen novels (I think Jane Austen is shit you see).

All in all the film looks like like a marketing conspiracy involving Gap, John Frieda, Max Factor and the inbred society of America. Twilight is also a bit flat and non-descript as a title, the film would have been better named Hot Deep Teenage High School Vampire Love Movie I'm surprised my main man Snoop Dizzle didn't make an appearance in a jacuzzi wiv a bottle of fine Don Brizzle and some hoes, just to squeeze in whatever potential audience group still available to them.

Though I think if I was a cool teen (and at 28 I haven't been one in a while [there are some who'd say I never was one, but they'd sound funny saying it because of their broken jaws]) I'd probably not want to watch Twilight, I'd probably want to listen to Little Boots instead because I'd be more impressed by a role model who sounds like she heard a Goldfrapp album and said: "Hold on, I could do that."

And there's nothing wrong with that, because Goldfrapp suck anyway. Ellen Page even says so in Hard Candy and I'd trust her because she spends her time visiting paedophiles and convincing them to kill themselves (actually watch Hard Candy instead of Twilight).

So yeah, Twilight like totally sucks ass dude!

NB Anyone who had any doubt about me being a cool teen take a look at this. I was very cool (okay I was in my early twenties here but you can still see it) and deep too (I'd have made a great vampire).

Friday, 17 July 2009

Lost in the Forest

Just got back from visiting my folks in Ballymena with my good lady friend. It was a fun time and did not involve any bad stuff. Except one, me with my good lady friend getting lost in Glenariff Forest Park near dark. I had ran about the forest as a kid and my man ego dictated that I still knew my way.

Conversations with my good lady like:

Good Lady Friend: Are you sure this is the way?
Me: Sure, trust me on this.

were all too reminiscent of a bad remake of spooky movies like The Blair Witch Project and bad (see good) Hammer Horror.

I was just about to give up on my man ego and suggest retracing our steps, another throwback to Blair Witch, when we ran into a nice couple, another throw back to bad (see good) Hammer Horror films.

The nice couple were going our way and let us tag along. Very nice indeed, especially when it turned out that my man ego had been way off and missed the way back completely.

Once safely back though and all thoughts of Blair Witch and bad (see good) Hammer Horror films safely out of our heads we'd a nice pint in a country pub.

In retrospect our getting lost had been good for two reasons though and that was firstly, the part of the forest I'd wanted to show my sweet honey pie was down by the river when the waterfalls and the huge rocks make it look like a jungle and secondly, the heavy rains that day had washed down through peat bogs making the river look like Guinness. Really beautiful.

Though when we were walking about lost this song by The Cure was going though my head the whole time (and yes that is Robert Smith):

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Adventures of Boring Tom - Part One

One day Tom was sitting watching TV. The band Metallica came on and played a song.

"This is what an electric guitar sounds like," Tom shouted, inspired.

The year was 1993. 30 years too late.

Artwork by Ryan O'Neill check out more of his work here.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Bungo, Brawling with Cops and Cormac - at last

Last night I was back in Belfast having been absent for a few days and I was very happy to be hanging out with my good lady friend (see girlfriend). We decided to go down to La Boca where Geoff Gatt runs an open mic accoustic night.

We got there late but just in time to hear a few numbers by Accoustic Dan, and the last act (a guy called Cormac - sorry didn't get his last name). Anyways, Cormac played a good set and I was speaking to Geoff about him. Geoff said he used to play around town years ago but that he'd been in Liverpool for the past few years.

For some strange reason something in my head clicked and I thought of a number I had in my phone stored as 'Liverpool'.

Now the reason I have this number is because of a dare's game I invented for the SPART ACTION GROUP called Bungo.

The rules of Bungo are pretty easy and involve:

1 Dice
some paper and pens
a bag
a lot of balls (metaphorical of course -ladies can play too!)

So to start with everyone writes some dares and puts them in the bag (there's no set rules on numbers but enough so that everyone will end up with a few dares).

Now at this point I'll tell you that it was in the rules that you could refuse to do a dare if it was illegal or risky to your health. (If you refused for any other reason you had to do a forefit). Despite this clause we all nearly got arrested for our daring deeds.

Then we begin, everyone roles the dice (I know it's die but, like, fuck off) and the highest number goes first, it then goes clockwise from them.

Role a 1 - Pick a dare out of the bag
Role a 2 - Put a dare back into the bag (if you've no dares then you just pass)
Role a 3 - Pass a dare on to your left
Role a 4 - Pass a dare on to your right
Role a 5 - Select a player to give a dare to
Role a 6 - Miss a go.

The dice rolling stops when the bag is empty. It is at this point that everyone does their dares, taking it in turn to do them.

Two of the dares in the game involved going to someone else's house.

One (which I got), involved going to a random house and trying to sell them something.

the other (which Ben Craig got), involved knocking someone's dorr and running away.

Ben and I of course had balls of steel, so off we went to do our dares.

I picked a random house in the neighbourhood and tried to sell a wee crappy pink plastic dinosaur to the guy who answered.

Ben decided when it came time to do his dare that he would pick the same house. So off we all went to make sure he didn't welsch.

Ben indeed rapt the door very hard (though not hard enough to cause structural damage) and we ran laughing down the drive. Where upon our way out was blocked by a car in the drive.

At this point a group of angry 40 something year olds got out and grabbed us. I fucked some dude on his head and my mate the grid got bounced off a car and my other mate Paul was kneed in the balls by some half-wit who thought we'd murdered her kids (it was still during the throws of the Madeline McCann news story so every parent in the country was on the lookout for murderous paedophiles).

Anyways it all got very nasty and the cops were called. When the cops showed up they couldn't accept that we'd just been playing a party game. (partly because we wouldn't take them back to the house - because there was a six foot wide pentagram drawn on the hallway carpet in sugar - Yum Yum).

Anyways, at the end of all this we got away scott free (which is nice when you haven't committed a crime).

Now the final twist. One of Ben's dares was also to send a random text from my phone to someone on his friends list. So he did. This person he said didn't live in Belfast but in Liverpool and standing there before me in La Boca last night might possibly have been the mystery number.

I called it, it was. We had a brief but pleasant chat and he took the whole dares game in the jovial mood it had been intended. Then he left. A nicer, happier ending to the single game of Bungo ever played, than the reckless street brawl that had spoiled my memories of what was supposed to be a happy occasion.