Sunday, July 30, 2006

Stupid man

As I think I've said before, I *loved* Superman Returns. I saw it again last week with Sweatband, and even she loved it. Although in hindsight I think she loved Superman 'Brandon Routh' rather more than she loved Superman 'the film.'

Anyway, there I was today, sitting at my computer flicking through the Marks and Spencer autumn/winter 2006 catalogue that I'd picked up in Kingston today when actually I should've been writing an article about the Delphic Expanse (it's a region of space in Star Trek: Enterprise, if you really needed to know), and what do I see? I'll tell you what I saw - it was the Superman duvet I had as a kid!

Damn the M&S website for not listing it yet, so you'll have to make do with this crappy pic taken of the catalogue.

I did take one where I was pointing a finger at it, but that just looked like someone was dangling a big pee-pee into the room which, quite frankly, looked a bit strange. Anyway, as you can see, the duvet has a big picture of Superman on it, flying with one arm held out in front of him.

As things like this are wont to do, the image sent me into some sort of nostalgia spiral and flashes from the past hit me like they do to someone who has amnesia in a movie when they start to have flashbacks of the life they've forgotten. Unlike in the movies, I did not recall my forgotten life as a government trained ninja assassin. But it was almost as good - I can remember being very young and laying over Superman in the same position as he appeared on the duvet with the vague hope that my Mum would walk into my room and say "ooo, where's Tim? The only thing I can see is Superman on the duvet."

Unfortunately, my Mum is not a woman to be easily fooled, and what she'd usually say is "Dave, I think our youngest son is a bit special."

So anyway, flashing back to the present, what I really want to know is this: why aren't Marks and Spencer selling a Superman duvet for a double bed?

It's discrimination, I tells ya!

Oh, deer…

One of my fondest childhood memories was our sunday afternoon family walks. Writing it out like that makes it sound dull, but it wasn't. Every sunday, we'd pull on our wellies and head off to one of West London's finest parks, where quite often Simon and I would recreate the lightsabre fights from Star Wars with big sticks, but as he was older and his sticks were invariably bigger, it often ended in tears.


Sometimes it was Windsor Great Park where Simon and I would race ahead of Mum and Dad upto the monument at the hill overlooking Windsor Castle. Then everyone would laugh at me because I couldn't say 'monument' properly; monlement? Monnement? Moonlement?

Screw it.

Anyway, other times we'd go to Virginia Gardens where we'd marvel at the totem poll. One time we saw Prince Charles on the outskirts of the polo field. We passed so close to him that Simon pondered whether he could get away with slapping him on the arse and running away. I reckon the security guys might've popped a cap in him, but it might've been worth it just for laffs. Maybe if he'd used his lightsabre?

And then there was the time - the one and only time - that we went to Richmond Park. Richmond Park is, for those who don't know, the largest Royal Park in London, and home to 650 deer. Which has always been a little troubling to me, because in rutting season those deer can get bloody viscious. Seriously, if you get yo' ass anywhere near a man-deer when it's rutting season, prepare to be on the receiving end of a pointy antler. And if you're really unlucky it might even turkey slap you.

Where was I?

Oh yes, the one and only family expedition to Richmond Park. I was, I think, about four. We parked up (I wasn't driving, mind), and Dad opened the car door. I hopped out, and as Mum got her coat out of the boot, I bent over and scooped something off the ground. I turned towards Mum and Dad, held out my hand, and opened it to reveal a handful of what appeared to be raisins, but what I expertly identified as "deer poo!"

One minute later I was sitting in the back seat of the car watching the scenary go by and left to wonder why we were going home so soon, and why my hand smelled so funky?

Coming up to date, Sweatband and I are re-teaming for some more sporty-related, erm, things in the next few months. First up in September is the annual Richmond to Windsor bike ride. This'll be my fourth, and Sweatband's first. Despite her hardcore extreme sports exterior, she's let me know that she's shitting it, but I reckon she'll be fine. We're planning on a few training rides, and Sweatband is eager to do one in Richmond Park for some reason.

Then, in October, we're doing another 10k run - this time round the grounds of Hampton Court Palace (Ooo - la-dee-da!) and the adjoining Home Park.

Now... Richmond Park and Home Park - what do they have in common? Hmmm… Oh! Deer!

Yes, they're both full of deer. And I've got a horrible feeling that October is rutting season. Me - sweaty and red-faced, and hundreds of randy deer.

I think Sweatband is trying to kill me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Kids today - tsk!

I've just been watching Supernanny. Well, actually it was Supernanny US, where the victi- I mean parents are really nice, contrasting with the UK version where the clearly down-trodden parents usually say things like "little Billy ain't gonna f-beeeep-ing listen to that, you silly cow," while the mum can clearly be seen to think that yes, maybe 250 quid down the clinic might've been money well spent around the three month mark...

Fortunately, while the parents were all smiles, bouffant hair, shoulder pads, and chiselled features, the kids were still little shits who swore like troopers. Hurrah!

Anyway, one of Supernanny's best ideas for the UK version was the naughty step. If your kid misbehaves, drag 'em to the foot of the stairs and make 'em bloody well sit there, all snot and tears until they stop hyperventilating and either a) pass out; b) apologise; c) raze the house to the ground - in which case I expect Supernanny would get uber-biblical and make them sweep the ashes into bin bags.

I was fascinated to note, however, that for Supernanny US, Supernanny has replaced the stairs with a chill out beanbag. Now it's quite possible that the oppulant staircase of the mansion this particular family lived in doesn't have quite the same effect as a council house in Leeds - but beanbags?!

Kids have never had it so good! Geez! If I thought I could go and chill out on a bear-sized beanbag just for flinging some poo at my brother I'd damn well do it.

I've been looking for an excuse to put me feet up.

A brave new world

Has anyone noticed that society is plagued by a bizarre, aggresive sub-species these days? Yes, chavs are everywhere (shudder).

But not to fear - Marcosy and I have developed a cunning plan!

My friends - I present to you CHAVTOPIA!

Imagine a place where chav culture is allowed to flourish as nature dictates it should, where chavvy children punch each other's teeth out while a Burberry flag flutters in the breeze, and chav dads hum the national anthem (Lily Allen's Smile or something by The Streets - I can't make my mind up...) while rolling biftas without any damned interfering policemen to stop them. Saves getting a job, huh?

Chav families stroll along the streets on their way to Argos to buy more cheap jewelry or have another tattoo done ("I fink I'll 'ave one that says 'angel'"), chav mum and her 12-year old chav daughter (pushing her own newborn fledgling chav in a pram) both a glorious sight in their off-white boob-tubes hanging by their waists, with their greasy locks pulled into a Croydon facelift so taut that it leaves you speechless.

Want to see the sights of Chavtopia by car? Just break into whichever one takes your fancy; after all - who the hell's gonna stop ya!?

So what do you think? Chavtopia - a brave new world where these fascinating people are able to develop without the interference of normal polite people who work for a living and obey the law?

OK, yes, I basically mean we should dump all the chavs on a desert island and let them fight it out on their own.

I still think it's a great plan though!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I'm a big fan of Freudian slips (and before anyone asks, no, it's not a new type of underwear).

Today, however, I almost made a Freudian slip that would either have made everyone laugh (it certainly managed that in the office), left a spanish lady utterly confused, or ended my career.

You see, I'm dealing with a spanish company on a new project I'm working on, and today I emailed the lady in charge at their end to introduce myself. In emails such as this I often use the phrase "I'm looking forward to working with you," because it shows a bit of enthusiasm on my part and makes the other person feel special (not in the window-licker sense of the word).

But today, for some inexplicable reason, I wrote "I'm looking forward to porking you," which I think you'll agree is a tad forward; I mean, usually I'd at least buy her dinner. Or a McDonald's Happy Meal.

Anyway, what that says about my thought processes today I don't know, but thank god I proof-read my emails.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Shameless plug

Following on from my post showing some of the pages from an unpublished comic by me and me ol' pal Graham, there's a new link just over there in the link column - LOOK!


Go on - click it. I dare you. That's everything that Graham and I (mainly Graham - he draws all the purty pictures!) did for the proposal to Dark Horse comics. We never heard back from them (insert unhappy smiley emoticon).

So if you work for a comics company and you like it - email me! Let's talk!

(And if anyone wants to read the original short story I wrote that we adapted for the comic drop me a line - I'm happy to email it around!)

Finally, supermassive big thanks to Skillz for putting the page together for us - I salute you Sir!

Lily Allen Vs Tony the Tiger

I'm not being snobbish, but I simply am not a fan of Lily Allen. A lot of people are loving her song 'Smile,' which is fine - it's just not my cup of tea (sorry). Unfortunately it's also one of those songs that gets stuck in your head VERY EASILY.

Marcosy is helping out at work at the moment, and somehow he's worked out that I don't like Lily Allen. And this has lead to him standing behind me and quitely singing:
"at first when I see you crrrrryy
it makes me smiiiiiiile
yeah it makes me smiiiiiiiile
at worst I feel bad for a whiiiiiiile
but then I just smiiiiiiile."

I've thought about sacking him, but quite frankly I need the help.

But I've discovered my tool of revenge!

Yes my friends - I've learned the complete lyrics and dance moves (complete with the free-styling hand moves at the end) to the latest Frosties advert.


Revenge is a dish best served cold - and yes, it's gonna taste great, it's gonna taste GREAT, IT'S GONNA TASTE GRREEEEEEEAT!

Marcosy is sick of it. Yaz is sick of it.

Lily Allen has been vanquished. My work is done.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I am Captain Jack

I was on the phone to my Nemesis today. He was trying to prod me about deadlines, which is an interesting thing as I've never known the man to meet a deadline in his life.

Anyway, there we were, chatting awa- I mean, there he was, chatting away while I did my utmost to sound bored, and he mentioned something about the impossible deadlines I've been working to recently.

"How are you doing with those deadlines - meeting them?"

I suddenly sat bolt upright, pulled my pirate eyepatch on, and adopted a Cap'n Jack voice.

"Meeting them?! MEETING THEM?!" I pointed my hand somewhere thataway "Of course not - I'm merely waving at them as they sail past!"

I then made a "Wooooooooooosh" noise and hung up.

Copious amounts of stuff

Not meaning to make light of a terrible situation, but I'm really hoping Condoleeza Rice's peace efforts in the Lebanon go well. I'm just gagging to see the headlines "RICE AND PEAS!"


I've got a Star Trek toy on my desk at work. Well, actually, I've got bloody millions of Star Trek toys on my desk at work, but one of my favourites is my Transporter Effect Janice Rand. This is a dodgy plastic figure of Yeomon Rand - who if you don't know, is the woman with the massive beehive hairdo who just served Captain Kirk coffee all the time and looked indignant when he made a vaguely sexist remake (but as it was the sixties that made it OK, and "oh how we all laughed!").

Anyway, the figure stands on what looks sort of like a transporter pad, and is transparent from the waist down. And by transparent I mean that it is sort of see through with bits of glitter in it so it looks like she's beaming somewhere. Do you see?! Oh, god, I bet that line of toys was planned in the midst of a week long drink 'n drugs fueled uber-bender.

But the best thing about Transporter Effect Janice Rand is that the base has a button on it, and when you press the button it makes the sound of the transporter! Genius! Of course, this provides hours of fun - I press it, then quickly hide under the desk while my bemused colleagues stand around asking "where did Tim go?!"

After seven years it still never ceases to be funny!


Two food related disasters: I somehow managed to flick Nandos peri-peri ketchup off the end of a chip onto both my t-shirt and trousers today. It was like potato-based medieval catapult.

I had a curry for dinner last night, but didn't finish it all and popped the rest in the bin. The hot weather is obviously, erm, accentuating the smell in Sparky Towers. I like curry as much as the next man - but a curry air freshener is a definite no-no on a warm summer's day...


I was reading the Daily Mail today. Don't ask why, I just was, OK? Anyway, they've got some wizened old bint dispensing fashion advice to men, and being the style guru I am, I thought I should check how my forward-thinking views match-up with those of... a wizened old bint.

Among her delightfully insane nuggets of advice were these beauties:

• STOP wearing trainers, unless you are on a tennis court or out for a jog. Your feet will smell, with or without socks.

Sparky says: Because my feet won't smell in a pair of Timberland boots in the middle of summer, hmmm?

• IF YOU have to work in an office, or you need to be more formal in hot weather, then you should invest in at least one lightweight suit.

Sparky says: in the real world most of us do have to work in an office. Fortunately, I can wear and a wifebeater and shorts, so the whole idea of a lightweight suit is sort of moot.

• CHOOSE shoes that can be worn without socks, and make sure you have a variety of colourful, large-collared shirts that can be worn without ties.

Sparky says: What? Like a clown?

• DON'T wear a tank top or vest top, unless you work on a building site. Even if I had the misfortune to be married to you, I would certainly not want to see under your arms.

Sparky says: Look, love, I saw your photo in the paper, and to be honest I'd rather look at my under arms than your mug anyday. I believe Daphne and Celeste said it best: "U.G.L.Y. You ain't got no alibi, yo' ugly."

• NEVER wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. They need time to breathe.

Sparky says: Oh, but my tan brogues *simply* won't go with my blue lightweight suit!

• JEREMY LANGMEAD, editor-in-chief of Wallpaper magazine and the most stylish man I know, says: 'It is cooler, in both senses of the word, to be simple. The perfect outfit is a pair of slim fit (but not tight) navy cotton trousers teamed with a white cotton T-shirt and a pair of boating shoes with no socks. Effortless, easy and smart.'

Sparky says: "Boating shoes?" "BOATING SHOES?!" What is this - the 1950s!?!? Good lord - I'd rather hack off my feet than pop them in some boating shoes! Who employed this woman? I demand answers!

I'm outraged, I tell you - OUTRAGED! My Nan knows more about fashion than this woman (seriously, my Nan's great - she's always picking me up Diesel and G-Star clothes for birthdays and Christmas. In fact, I should employ her as my personal shopper!).

Erm, so, where was I? Oh yeah - believe this woman, chaps, and nip off to BHS for some boating shoes and lightweight suits. Or join me in my t-shirts with ironically smutty slogans and jeans with inappropriately-placed holes! (Although don't actually try to get in my clothes while I'm wearing them - because that'd just be weird).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sparky Malarkey motors!

Today Marcosy and I headed to the wilds of East London. Why would we do such a thing? Let me tell you: the London International Motor Show.

International my arse.

Anyway, it was kinda good, although we both decided there were too many people there, most of whom kept trying to walk through us. What's that about? I've not mastered the personal invisibility field just yet. Some guy even tried to get into a BMW Z4 coupe while I was sitting in it! It's not a roomy car at the best of times, and I really don't think it was designed to seat two grown men in the driver's seat at the same time.

So - let's review the best bits:

Holy crap! A sexy Volvo!

Ha! Toyota whacked some decks in the back of an Aygo! Shame they'll never make anything anywhere near as exciting...

Some nutter wasted half their life knitting a Ferrari. What's that all about?!

We both decided that the Mazda MX-5 looks a tad 'special' from the front…

Hubba hubba - my next car!

MINI had a giant Space Invaders-type game called Fake Invaders. You needed two players to play, and Marcosy was not biting. Miserable sod.

MINI also had some fake MINIs. I think she's tinkling on the ivories…

Well… It's nothing if not practical!

Erm, so I decided to ride the MINI mower… And that'll be Marcosy's finger obscuring the bottom part of the picture. I ask you, he won't let me play Fake Invaders, then he shoves his finger into view. Next time I'm getting a professional photographer.

As Marcosy and I are both MINI drivers (not the stumpy square-jawed actress, I hasten to add), we were both allowed onto the MINI BARge - a floating bar for the exclusive use of MINI owners. We had to show our keys to get onboard (which made me feel a bit like we were heading into a swingers event), and then were given free drinks and smarties - RESULT! Although at one point we think a really fat woman got on and the BARge started to list, so we abandoned ship; free smarties will only get you so far.

All in all it was a pretty good day. Except for when Marcosy made me get in a Lotus Elise - they're really freakin' difficult to get out of! And something, erm, may have broken off it when I tried to get out... Oh, and the tube and train network went tits up on the way home - meaning that I missed One Tree Hill on telly - and we briefly found ourselves stranded in Stratford. Only six years 'till the Olympics are staged in the East End - I don't doubt at all that London will be ready (!).

Now I've got to go shower - long tube journeys always make me feel a little funky.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Monkey fun and a big spider, man

Sometimes the simplest things amuse me. And sometimes they amuse me so much that I have to breath into a paper bag for a few minutes in order to calm down.

One such thing JUST HAPPENED.

Y'see, I've got a little monkey sitting on one of my computer's speakers. Not a real one, I hasten to add; a little knitted one. Look:

Say "hello" to monkey. Well go on then.

Anyway, I just happened to surf over to Iain Baker's myspace page, and Iain's got 'Shut Us Down' by The Brakes (top tune, by the way) playing on his myspace music player thingy. And do you know what? The vibrations from the speaker made it look like monkey was shaking his little woollen leg along to it. Which made me laugh a bit more than it probably should've; I told you I was easily amused.

And then monkey fell backwards off the speaker and everything suddenly took a turn for the worse.


Excitement in the office yesterday - there was a ma-HOO-sive spider in the bathroom sink. I mean, freakin' MA-HOO-SIVE.

Don't believe me? Look at this bad boy:

And yes, it measured approximately two inches across.

I was straight on the phone trying to get through to Sigourney Weaver, because there's only one way I thought we could deal with this:

The last thing I wanted was for that thing to leap on to my face and impregnate me.

Quite frankly, if you measure over half an inch in either length or width, and have eight legs, you're seriously asking to see the bottom of my shoe - although sadly I was overruled on this occasion. I really don't get the hippy mentality of releasing these damn things back into the wild! CRUSH THEM!

Anyway, the bastard sneaked back in later, so if I catch it on Monday morning sitting at my desk checking my email or humping the photocopier, things are going to get biblical.

I'll fix ya

No, I'm not moving into the 'knee-capping' business, and that title's not supposed to be a threat.

I can't believe I forgot about this! While strolling down Kingston high street this morning I heard a reggae band playing outside Gap (I don't think that's specifically relevant, but I like to get all the facts down). The song they were playing sounded eerily familiar, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it...

Then it hit me.

They were playing 'Fix you' by Coldplay. But they had reggaed it up big stylee.

It was fantastic. Which is saying something, because I'm really not a Coldplay fan.


It's funny, I'm quite territorial over music; I really like finding quality bands when they're still playing small-ish venues (upto, say, the Shepherds Bush Empire), then get a bit huffy when they swan off to somewhere like Wembley Arena; it's almost like I resent the fact that other people latch on to them as soon as they get some success. "Yo!" I'd shout, "Where were you when people were throwing pints at them?"

I'm so glad I got to see Phantom Planet at the Mean Fiddler last year, because I'm convinced at some point everyone's going to realise how good they are, and that there's more to them than just the theme tune to The OC. And then where will I be? Wembley Arena, back row, third seat from the left. D'ya know what I mean?

That being the case, it's damned lucky I wasn't around to see The Rolling Stones and David Bowie play pub gigs back in the day. Because I'd be having real issues with the other 40,000-odd people who'll be settling down at Twickenham Stadium on August 20th to see Mick and the boys.

Woke up this morning feeling fine

Good grief! It's almost like I've been rebirthed or something - I woke up this morning in a shockingly good mood, and I'm damned if I know why. Let's not dwell on it - just suck it in, enjoy it, go with the flow.

So I headed over to Kingston (Upon-Thames, NOT Jamaica), primarily to go to the bank, but also because I do like a good look around the shops. I swear to god I can out-shop any girl, any day of the week. That said, I didn't buy anything. Well, actually, that's a little bit of a lie, because I did go to Sainsburys for some cranberry and raspberry juice (I swear they must be topping it up with crack or something - I'm completely addicted!), and ended up spending just over 20 quid.

Food shopping on a Saturday isn't usually a good idea in my opinion, because everyone in the world is there. Everyone in the world and their screaming children. There was one kid today - must've been about four - who appeared to be able to say "mum" over and over and over and over again in a bizarrely loud voice and without taking a single breath. He alone was proof for my belief that all children should be regarded as valid targets for tranquilizer darts. Or at the very least ritalin darts.

And in other news - it's been raining! I knew that naked rain dance I did last night would work!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening things

I would really love a storm right about now. I'm not dissing the hot weather (which, by the way, I'm loving), but I'd quite like a teensy-tiny respite. Just a little storm to clear the air. Because everyone's starting to sweat (although posh people insist they're merely 'glowing'. Fat people have been glowing for years, but I still say they're sweaty).

So, yes, just a little bang and a few flashes, please.

OK, I just read that last line back and it sounded really dirty - am I reclaiming my crown as the king of smut?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Don't mess with monkey pirate!

Arrrrr… Oo-oo… Arrr…!

(Seriously, I'm either sugar rushing big-time, or someone needs to call the funny farm ASAP)

I'm just working for the weekend

When will the nightmare end?!

Heh, only joking. Seriously, though, I'm right in the mood for the weekend - and I mean right NOW. Shame there's still Friday to go.

Maybe it's the glorious weather. Maybe it's the fact that I'm really not in the mood to be shackled to a desk when I'd quite like to be out running. I don't know... Maybe I'm just b.o.r.e.d. Whatever it is, I picked up a copy of the Superman Returns soundtrack today (I'm quite partial to movie scores, don't ya know), so I think I'll boost my energies just as I'm parking up by work tomorrow by blasting the main theme out of the car stereo.

DA DA DA DA DA-DAAA, DA DA DA DA DA-DAAA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA…! (or something like that).

Oh, and in related matters, the lovely locksmiths who let me park outside their offices are moving next week, so I've got to find somewhere else to park. As if I don't have enough things to do! I'm going to "tsk" now.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

July 19th

Today is notable for two reasons: first of all London was officially as hot as the surface of the sun, and secondly, because it marks the seventh anniversary of me starting work at my current job.

Which is kind of bloody scary, because basically I've dedicated more time to this job than to any other part of my life. Shit! I've spend pretty much a quarter of my life there!

The more I think about it the more scary/worrying that is, because I don't like the idea of being stagnant doing the same ol' thing day in, day out - which I've begun to think I may be... But then again, where else could I spend my days writing captions such as 'Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge is perplexed by the intermittent flux irregularity in the starboard plasma conduits'?

It's the seven year itch, I tells ya!

All concerns about work aside, today sort of passed me by quite well... aside from a phone call from my Nemesis. He rabbited on for about 10 minutes about a subject that had nothing whatsoever to do with work, then said "why did I call you again?"

"I don't know," I replied, doing my very best to let my honest disinterest in anything he has to say shine through. I followed it up with: "*COUGH!*-nobwit-*COUGH!*"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Nothing - must've had a frog in my throat."

See - even after seven years I'm nothing if not professional.

Everyone loves the monkey

Conversation with me these days naturally turns towards the subject of pets as I continue to dither over whether to welcome little Smudge into my life.

Look, here’s the little blighter with her eyes open now:

OK, I know, you can’t REALLY see that much, just two white paws and a big… well, black smudge. How apt. Anyway, the paws are damned cute, I think you’ll agree.

Anyway, Yaz has decided she wants to get a new pet. But she does not want a cat or a dog. She is not even swayed by my suggestion of a miniature horse.

She wants a monkey.

Yes, I said she wants a monkey.

Not a great ape, or a baboon or something like that. She wants one of those little ones, like Marcel from Friends. And that vicious little one from Raiders of the Lost Arc that wears a little waistcoat, and possibly even a fez, if memory serves me correctly. I don’t think she’s seen the Dustin Hoffman epic Outbreak, and I’m loathe to tell her to watch it because, while I’m dithering over the kitten, I really want her to get a monkey. Mainly because if it starts baring its nasty little pointy teeth at people and throwing poo around, it’s not my problem; I can just sit back and laugh. Unless it’s throwing poo at me.

So, yeah, the idea of a pet monkey is quite cool. I’ve even suggested that she could dress it up in little costumes; a sailor suit, a cowboy suit, perhaps even a little mariachi suit. Although to be frank it does sound like I’m planning on putting together some kind of monkey-based version of the Village People (“Young chimp, there's no need to feel down/I said, young chimp, pick yourself off the ground/I said, young chimp, 'cause you're in a new town/There's no need to be unhappy!” And, erm, so on…).

Apparently, London Zoo has opened a new monkey enclosure that you can walk through. Now that sounds like fun. Yaz and I are plotting to case the joint in August. And, er, y’know… wouldn’t it be awful if one ‘accidentally’ fell in her bag?

Cooking with Sparky Malarkey: Mash, bang, wallop

Dear J. Sainsburys,

I am writing to inform you of how much I enjoy shopping in your stores – the quality of food and the range of produce available is almost beyond the realm of human imagination.

However, I must admit a degree of surprise upon purchasing, and subsequently microwaving, a tub of your ‘Taste the Difference’ Taw Valley Cheddar Mash. Having followed the instructions on the packaging (pierce film lid and place on a non-metallic dish), I was, as I’m sure you’ll understand, somewhat shocked to hear a deafening bang emanating from the confines of my microwave. Further investigation revealed that the mash had exploded through the aforementioned piercings in the film lid, and was oozing around the tub like a poorly executed special effect from the popular 1980s movie Ghostbusters.

Is this what’s supposed to happen?

Yours Sincerely,


Monday, July 17, 2006

Funny books

Anyone who's looked at my blogger profile will know that I list 'unpublished comic book writer,' along with 'being an astronaut' and 'international playboy' in my interests (two of those three are lies; unfortunately, the 'unpublished comic book writer' bit is not).

Anyway, at the suggestion of Simon/Jamal, I've taken the plunge and whacked some of the pages of the last project that I worked on with my co-conspirator Graham (he draws pretty pictures!) up on my myspace page (hey, if it works for bands...).

It's a bit odd to plonk them up there. It's like baring your soul. Well, no it's not, actually. But, y'know, there's every possibility that someone could leave a comment branding them "shite," which would probably make me cry.

Oh, and I've done this without telling Graham either, so he might yet kill me.

So feel free to head over to my myspace page to 'ave a look. Especially if you work for DC or Marvel. Or Image or Fantagraphics. Oh, and if you're also a myspace member, bloody well friend me (erm, please).

Any and all comments, either here or on the myspace page are welcome... He says, bracing himself for a torrent of abuse!

Hot hot heat redux

Would you look at that! Thirty four degrees wotsitname! (No, not 340 - there's a decimal point in there somewhere)

And - and! On the drive home my car's, erm, hotometer bounced up to 35.5; I swear I saw an old lady spontaneously combust. There was a flash, a bang, and then a slight whiff of sprouts.

So yes, the heatwave is officially back on - my wifebeaters are back in action and my legs are on show to whoever wants a look - and even those who don't. Especially those who don't - I chase them down the road. It's all good. Well, actually that's a lie. Because being typical Brits, most people are moaning about it. I tell you, if it's not about 16.5 degrees, grey, overcast, and with the slightest hint of rain, everyone's bitching.

The forecasts are saying that by wednesday it's going to be even hotter! Hooray! Of course, that leads to all the panic talk - lock up your pets, small children, and old folk because they're not used to the hot weather. Yes, lock them up in a sealed room. There's some good advice. Probably pop the central heating on too.

So, yes, Wednesday. Hot as hell. If it weren't for the fact I'm so damned busy at work I'd be seriously tempted to take a duvet day and top up my tan.

Of course, it'll probably be pissing it down at the weekend.

*****KITTEN UPDATE!*****

So, rumour has it that Smudge - yes Smudge … is a girl!

Someone's been checking Smudge's bits, and has discovered he's got an 'inney' rather than an 'outey.' Hence he is a she.

Although I reckon it was because someone caught her walking round in Mum's stilletos while playing dress-up.

Kids these days…

Sunday, July 16, 2006

God damn! It's a f**king tent!

Yaz and I went to the Ealing Comedy Festival tonight. It was in a big tent, in the middle of a park (hence the post title, which was something that Rich Hall said). It was funny.

We went primarily to see Alan Carr, who is not just funny, he is very funny. In fact, we saw him as we were walking into the festival grounds.

"Ha!" I said to Yaz 10 minutes later. "I should've got a photo of him for the blog!"

"Yeah," said Yaz, followed by: "Oh, there he is."

Now, I happen to have developed a funny habit of repeating the last thing that Yaz has said. So rather loudly I said: "OH! THERE HE IS!"

Without actually realising that Alan was walking past me at the time.

Alan stopped, turned, and smiled at me. And bless 'im, he came over for a chat. Which was rather brave of him, because quite frankly even I thought I sounded like a complete nutter.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Much love for Superman

So there was much love for Superman Returns. It was, in my humble opinion, one of the best summer blockbusters I've seen in a loooooong time, although it obviously was not the best movie ever made. Because that's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Anyway, I loved it, Yaz loved it, Jeff loved it; Lee thought it was "nyeh" (probably watched Star Trek II recently). The fully costumed Justice League behind us loved it. The large sweaty man next to Lee loved it.

I suppose the only downside was that they weren't handing out freebies like the eyepatch I got at Pirates of the Caribbean. I could really have gone a cape.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Determining your audience's wants and needs

Never let it be said that here at Sparky Malarkey we (I) don't do our (my) best to give you (yes, you) exactly what you want.

That being the case, we've (I've) undertaken some extensive research into what makes a blog interesting, popular, and relevent to the general 'everyday' blog-reader. Our (my) extensive research, which was carried out under laboratory conditions, revealed three recurring themes that appear in the world of blogging:

1) How to be a "mommy" (to X-number of "awesome" kids).
2) How to bake amazing cakes and biscuits.
3) How to knit.

Not being one to want to let any of our (my) readers down, Sparky Malarkey shall endeavour to expand into the aforementioned areas of expertise.

1) Unfortunately, Sparky Malarkey is ill-equipped to guide others in the realms of 'how to be a mommy (to X-number of "awesome" kids)' due to the fact that we (I) are (am), er, equipped with the, er, wrong equipment to experience the amazing delights of motherhood. But, y'know, everyone seems to wing it OK, so I'm sure they'll be fine. And awesome. And if they're not - well, that's what juvenile courts and young offenders establishments are for.

Moving swiftly on…

2) Now, we (I) can't cook for toffee (nope, can't even cook toffee), so you're pretty much on your own here as well. Microwave? Yeah, I can do that; we're (I'm) a bit of a dab hand at nuking food. And don't worry if it's still a bit frozen in the middle, it'll be fine. Really. But if you really do want to learn how to cook, why not just cheat: claim that you made these boob-shaped biscuits yourself.


3) Knitting? Hmmm… this is were it's all at people. As soon as we (I) can track down the pattern, we're all going to make a start knitting woolen apparel for our awesome offspring. Trust us (me), all the kids are wearing them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


(Sparky does a dramatic punch to the air)


Tomorrow, people, I finally get to see Superman Returns. I'm *SO* looking forward to this film, so chances are I'll wander out of it a little disappointed and something within me will have died. No, wait, it will be great. It will live up to my expectations.

It will be super.

Now, I do have one dilemma, though. Y'see, a while back, I might've suggested that I was going to stand outside the Odeon Leicester Square with some red pants on over my trousers. Sorry friends, but that ain't going to happen; I forgot to buy some red pants.

But I do have a Superman t-shirt - a blue one with the 'S' (or should that be \S/?) logo on the front. The thing is, I think that going to see a Superman movie while wearing a Superman t-shirt might just be, erm, y'know … a tad too nerdy (and this coming from someone who's spent the last seven years editing Star Trek magazines).

The nerd part of my brain is saying "Do it! Do it! Everyone will be looking at you thinking you're the coolest person in the world," while the sane, socially-adept part of my brain is shouting "Do it and I'll bitch-slap you."

I think the sane part will win out in the end. Though I might wear my pirate eyepatch.


I was walking back to my car after work and I noticed a bored-looking man of rather large girth being pushed along in a wheelchair. I was unbelievably close to saying "want that one" like Andy from Little Britain, but fortunately I was able to hold it in.

I know, I know, I'm going to hell for that one. I'm actually giving myself 1000 lashes as penance as we speak. Er, type. And by '1000 lashes' I actually mean 'eating some orangey digestive biscuits.' But, with my hand on my heart (yes, I have one), I promise to you that I will feel every single calorie of those orangey digestive biscuits when I go for a run with Sweatband on Saturday.


Driving home I saw a bloke walking a really thin greyhound dog. The damn thing was almost two-dimensional! And this got me thinking - how cool would 2-D pets be?! Think how easily you could store them! You could file them away in a magazine rack. Or use them as a novelty bookmark.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Everyone's smitten by the kitten

There is *much* love for the kitten, my friends - *MUCH* love.

And now my brother has waded in on the matter.

Simon, who is occasionally and inexplicably also refered to as Jamal, is not the type of chap who goes all gooey at the sight of a small kitten. He's more likely to call it "flea-bag" or "worm-ass," and maybe even consider popping it under the grill for a late night snack.

But no. I just got the following text message from him:

"Get the kitten - it's SOOO cute."

(Are you ALL conspiring against me?)

Anyway, I suggested that he "get the kitten," and helpfully suggested that he could house it in my former bedroom.

"But's it's Dad's office now," he replied. "What's it going to do - some filing?"

"It can play around on the computer and surf the internet all day," I suggested. "It'll need to know what to do with a mouse at some point."

Waiting for stodge

I'm a firm believer in stodgy food, and that's why the first thing I did after getting in from work today was to slap some southern fried frikkin' chicken pieces and some curly fries in the oven (what is it about curly food that makes it taste so good?).

Anyway, you can stick your fromage frais and, er, your bloody, er, vertically-arranged spinich doo-dah - gimme something with more 'E' numbers than they can list on the packet! I want to see that Sainsbury's wheel of health glowing red, baby!!

I'm also a firm believer in medical science, and I'm sure they will have developed the technology to clone me some new arteries when I'm done with the ones I've already got.

Moving on, I've got to say that the oven I inherited from the previous occupier of Sparky Towers is a bit mental; I'm pretty certain it runs off plutonium. Me getting something out of the oven looks a little like this:

Although obviously I'm dressed as a pirate not as a Starfleet officer.

In related, and somewhat disturbing matters, some of my neighbours were telling me yesterday how they used to watch the previous occupier "bang her boyfriend" through the bathroom window. The idea of strangers banging away in what is now my house is profoundly disturbing; her fat arse could've damaged the tiling.

Must go - stodge awaits!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Temporarily named Smudge of indeterminate gender

Let's tug those ol' heart strings!

All together now: "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

This is the kitten I've been offered (which actually makes it sound like some sort of drug deal…). At the moment it is called Smudge. Lazy Smudge has yet to open its eyes, although I'm assured that's due to happen Any. Day. Now.

(Oh, and that isn't my hand. I do not have womanly hands)

Notice that I'm refering to Smudge as an 'it'? Yes, I know it's rude, but no one knows if Smudge has a pee-pee or a punani. I'm hoping for Smudge's sake that he/she is a girl, because it's really not going to do his self confidence any good if someone turns round in a year or so and says "we weren't sure if you were a boy or a girl because your pee-pee was freakin' tiny."

So I'm still not sure if I'm going to take ickle Smudge. Although if I were the list of names currently stands at Chairman Meow, Hopey, and Kodos the Executioner.

Alternatively, if anyone feels they can give Smudge a suitable home while I dither around, I'm sure we can pop him/her in a Fedex box.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kittens, mittens, pirates, and telekinesis

Jo emailed me today to let me know that she knew someone who had a two week old kitten they were trying to find a home for. It's small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, apparently.

Now, I know you're not supposed to separate a kitten from its mother until they're about eight weeks old, because they've got to learn various cat-based activities from their mum, such as how to tiddle correctly, how not to scratch the sofa, and how to do simple multiplication. And god knows, the last thing I'd want is an illiterate cat that couldn't program the video to tape The OC when I'm out.

(Isn't it around that age that you need to have their bits either stapled shut or cut off as well? I don't know…)

Anyway, despite lots of "oooooh-ing" and "aaaaaaah-ing," and an email from Marcosy that just repeated the words "get the kitten" over and over and over again, I'm NOT getting the kitten. Although if I were I love the idea of calling it Chairman Meow.


The whole pirate thing is off. Another email from Marcosy said that I looked like a 'special pirate' in the photo I posted the other day.


My burgeoning telekinetic powers appeared to work reasonably well on a Starbucks paper cup; I'm moving onto the china ones tomorrow. Then I might levitate some small animals.


I actually have nothing to say about mittens, I just liked the rhyme.

Right - off to have some fun; the neighbours opposite have a Hitler cat and I can taunt it from my bedroom window. The stupid thing can't see me - hours of fun!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The power of my mind

Marcosy and I met up today, mainly because he'd ordered some super-expensive trainers (apparently they'll make him run as fast as The Flash or something) and couldn't remember where the shop was.

Post trainer buying we headed off for a coffee in the garden of Teddington's branch of Neros, where I proceeded to vent my spleen a little over my current mood. It must be said, all this spleen-venting is rather good, and it makes me feel somewhat better to have someone else sympathize with me. Vindicated is the word. It feels quite good to be vindicated - hurrah!

Anyway, mid spleen-vent, I noticed that Marcosy was looking a little bit distracted. Was he going to make a break for it, and leave the crazy ranting man in the middle of West London suburbia? No, in fact he was mildly distracted by the iced latte cup that was moving steadly across the table, apparently of its own accord.

I looked at it too.

Ha ha, I joked holding out my hand as if to suggest that I was moving it with the power of my mind.

That's when my plastic cup began to move too.

We both looked at each other, expressions of mild shock on our faces. It was all a little bit too Carrie for a Sunday afternoon.

We decided to head back to the car before I caused the obnoxious tubby monstrosity at the table next to us to burst into flames.

Of course, in hindsight it has been a rather breezy day, so it could've been the wind. But it probably wasn't.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A change of direction

I've decided that I need to do something new and exciting.

So here we go:

No, I'm not starting a new career as a Gabrielle impersonator, but dreams can come true: I'm thinking of becoming a pirate - which may or may not have something to do with having just seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (which was great, by the way).

The major factor here is that the cinema was giving away free eyepatches, primarily for children, but I had no problem in taking one. Eyepatches are cool. In fact, I was going to wear my eyepatch while driving home, but Yaz sort of persuaded me not to. Something about 'depth perception...?' Yeah, I didn't know what she was on about either.

The only problem I can foresee in my new career is that I don't have a ship, cutlass, or crew, and I don't live near the sea. Arrr, but these are minor problems, I'm sure. Who'll sign up? There be treasure (or booty!) out thar!


Mood: foul

Don't you just hate it when you wake up and you just know you're going to have a bad day?

Well that happened to me, ooo, last saturday, and I still haven't snapped out of it. I'm experiencing a distinct lack of enthusiasm that I'm trying to hide behind a smiley facade, which is actually making me more annoyed with myself; sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world not allowed to have an off day. Or week. Month? Whatever! And to make matters worse, my nemesis is currently scoring an all-time high score on the Sparky Malarkey patented fuck-wit filter, I keep being asked stupid questions, and a squirrel just threw something out of a tree at me.

Even little Clint Howard can't snap me out of it.

On the plus side, I always write much better when I'm in a bad mood*, so I think I'm going to turn the mobile off, lock all the doors and windows, and spend the weekend devising my masterpiece. Watch out Shakespeare - I'm gunning for you, buster!

It's either that or cross my arms like a petulant child, shout "humph!" and sit in the corner. Which kinda sounds like fun, actually, so I might split my time between the two.

(*this blog entry being the exception)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Director's cut

So the new profile picture appears to be going down a storm, with reactions ranging from absolute horror to mystifying arousal, which pretty much matches people's reactions to the real me anyway, so it'll be staying - at least for a little while.

But think yourselves lucky - you could've been confronted with one of these profile pic outtakes - or beauties as I like to call 'em - if I'd been feeling really mischievous.




Respec' to little Clint Howard.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

They mostly come at night … mostly

HMV have got the uber-exclusive limited collector's edition of the Alien Quadrilogy on special offer - £199 down to £54!

Now - WOW! - that's a bargain my friends, but I'm excited by it for another reason altogether. Y'see, I reckon if you chucked out all the DVDs (I mean, who *hasn't* got them already?), you could probably pop it on your head.

And the idea of dressing like an alien with a big plastic head is quite appealing to me. Picture this: me donning my alien head and going out in the twilight hours to scare all those feral teenagers - you know, the ones who just hang around in intimidatingly large groups on street corners, and appear to have lost the ability to pull their trousers up OVER their arses, and instead let them hang UNDER their arses. My Mum would've never let me out the house with my undercrackers on show to all and sundry, let me tell you. And that's because I was raised properly.

Anyway, I digress. So yes, the idea of scaring people while dressed as an alien appeals greatly to my malarkey sensibilities. And I could even spray cillit bang on the really obnoxious teenagers (it's the closest I can think of to my alien brethren's acidic blood).

Thinking about it ... the pinnicle of this insane idea would be to jump out at an unsuspecting Sigourney Weaver... The look on her face would, I'm sure, definitely be worth the kick to the knackers that would undoubtedly follow!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh, and one other thing...

Whadya think of the new profile picture...? Is it cool - or a little bit *too* freaky?

Hot hot heat

No, that's not how fast I was going; because if it was I would've a) been using my phone illegally while driving, and b) I probably wouldn't be writing this because that wall is *awfully* close.

Truth be told, that's the temperature that my car was reading when I got home this evening at around half six. Holy crappola! That's this evening?! What the hell was it registering during the day?! The answer to that is that I don't know, but I'm damned sure there aren't enough digits on the display to show it, whatever it was.

So what I'm, trying to say is that it's pretty darn hot in London today. I was down to my metaphorical bra and panties in the office today, although it must be said that as I was wearing a wifebeater and had greased up with rather a lot of suntan lotion, I probably looked a little look a rogue male stripper quietly biding his time until WOOSH, he catches some unsuspecting lady unawares.

But unlike a lot of other Londoners, I ain't having a winge. I'm loving this heat wave, and it's going to be a shame if the weather forecasts have got it right and we're going to have severe storms tomorrow. Hang on - storms!? I love a good storm. And on the plus side the rain will wash the bird poo off my car (how is it they can consistently land direct hits on such a small car anyway? I mean, really, what's that all about?).

So storms, yeah - bring it on!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Six months and still alive

I realised yesterday that it's been six months since I moved into my house, which shall henceforth be referred to as Sparky Towers. And do you know what's so remarkable about that? I've not managed to kill myself through:

a) Food poisoning.
b) An overwhelming mountain of dust from not cleaning.
c) The vile stench of unwashed undercrackers.

In fact, all undercrackers are washed and accounted for - BONUS! (Socks are another matter, but I'm on the case...)

So all in all this 'living on my own' thing is actually going OK.

(Note to self, however: must close curtains before touring the upper level in a state of noddiness - neighbours are easily startled)

Oh, and I highly recommend the new Muse album, Black Holes and Revelations. Don't let this put you off, but I swear it's like the unholy offspring of Queen and Tubular Bells - and somehow that is a 'good thing.' No, it is. Honest.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A brush with celebrity #2

Aaaah, what a day… hours of shopping with Marcosy (I bought flip-flops!), followed by a trip to the cinema with Jo to see The Lake House (which was pretty good, but not amazing enough to dethrone Star Trek IV and Back to the Future as my favourite time travel movies).

How to round off this weekend? Ooo… How about A brush with celebrity, part deux:

So, a few months after I began work at my current company, around October '99, word got round that one of the stars of Star Trek was actually going to come into the office - indeed, would be having lunch with us! Would I finally have the chance to put on a Gorn costume and wrestle Shatner? Would I be able to ask Walter Koenig to say "nuclear wessels" in person? Or could I get George Takei to say "Oh my!" to my face?

Nope. Because the person who was coming in to see us was none other than relative Deep Space Nine newbie Nicole de Boer. Despite the fact that she'd only appeared in one season of DS9 I was still massively excited. You must remember I was only around 21-22 at this point in time, so I was pretty much excited by anything. Here's your paycheck - "WAHAY!" - here's some chocolate - "REALLY!? WOW!" - look, a stick - "Ooo, stick!" I think you get the idea.

Anyway, it probably doesn't matter that I thought/still think that she was/is super hot.

So the day of Nicole's appearance arrives, and I'm sitting there vibrating away in excitement, having remembered to change my Seven of Nine screensaver to an Ezri Dax one. And then there she was - walking down the driveway with her friend whose name I can't recall because she wasn't famous or in Star Trek, and was thus totally unimportant to me.

Nicole comes into the office, politely greets everyone, and does her best to look excited and not at all frightened by being trapped in an office full of what appears to be uber-nerds.

"Let's all go to lunch," someone said (because we're taking Nicole out to lunch - and not just to McDonalds for a Happy Meal - although I'm sure she would've been thrilled with whatever that week's toy was). Off to lunch we strolled then, to a posh restaurant called The Brackenbury.

During the course of the walk there, Marcosy and I either hung back, or strolled ahead, because we were showing Nicole that we were *SO* cool, and not in the least bit intimidated by her Hollywood-starriness. Also, I was a tad nervous because I'd actually just written an article for a different publication that made reference to her having an old man's worm inside her (she was a Trill, you see).

So we get to the restaurant and take our seats, and whadya know, I'm sitting next to Nicole! Yes, I effectively pitched my tent right next to he- Um... Hmmm... bad choice of phrase. Anyway, so we sit there, exchanging pleasantries, and suddenly she whips out a camcorder and starts camcording us all (Yes! Nicole de Boer has footage of me!).

After that little ice-breaker, I started to relax a bit, cracked a little joke here or there... Oh, and Marcosy was getting on super-massively well with her friend, whatserface, which was nice because it meant I pretty much had Nicole all to myself.

It was a beautiful thing, people - I knew this when we started talking music.

"I love David Bowie," she said.

I shook my head in disbelief. "You do? Gosh! I *love* David Bowie too!" And in that moment our eyes met, and as everything around us pailed into insignificance I could see the future that lay before us… I saw us running in fields in slow motion, I saw her in her Starfleet dress uniform as we got married, our honeymoon on Risa … the children, oh the beautiful, beautiful half human, half Trill children, our wonderful home in the countrysi-

"I'm trying to get my fiance into Bowie too."


"My fiance - he's in a rock band!"


At least that's what went through my head. In reality I just said something like "that's super!" Then I smiled, and Nicole de Boer walked out of my life forever.

They say time mends a broken heart, but I still have difficulty watching Season Seven of Deep Space Nine.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A brush with celebrity #1

So I'm sitting here, munching on some new salt and vinegar Ryvita minis, which despite tasting a bit like slightly seasoned cardboard are inexplicably more-ish, watching *another* classic episode of Friends, and suddenly I thought "hot-damn! I think I'll write a blog entry!"

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: A brush with celebrity, numero uno:

About three years ago the lovely people who run the comic shop I spend FAR too much money in threw a Midsummer's party at a pub in Twickenham which I toddled along to. I seem to remember I got there slightly fashionably late with my mate Emma, and being the gentleman I am I got the first round in. I distinctly recall leaning up against the bar, ordering the drinks and thinking "Geez! That guy at the bar next to me looks just like Bill Paxton!"

Of course, what the bloody hell would Bill Paxton be doing in Twickenham on a Saturday night? Dur! I collected the drinks and went out to the beer garden.

About an hour or so later, Emma and I were chatting away when someone happened to pass by and say "Did you meet Bill Paxton yet?" I, of course, did a comedy double-take. Unsubstantiated evidence suggests that it's quite possible my eyes came out on stalks too.

"Bill Paxton? HERE?!"

"Yes, he's staying locally while he's filming the Thunderbirds movie."

"Oooooooh… REALLY!?"

"Yes, really. He's inside now playing table football."

On this bombshell, I looked at my glass. It was about half full (or half empty, depending on how you look at it), so I figured I'd give it 10 minutes or so, down my bevvy, and head inside to get a refill. And say "hi" to Bill.

I could picture it already - I'd wander into the pub, catch Bill score a winning goal in his table football game, and I'd shout "That's it man, game over man, game over!" and he'd look at me and laugh, I'd buy him a beer, we'd man-bond over crazy stories and quotes from Aliens, and I'd tell him that I was sure Thunderbirds would be a MASSIVE box office hit - I mean, how could it not be? Everything would be terrific with the world.

Ten minutes passed, and I looked at Emma. "Time for a refill?"

"It's my round," she said. Was she trying to squeeze her way into Bill's affections too?

"Don't worry," I replied, "you can get the next one."

And with that I turned and headed toward the bar, passing the person who'd earlier told me that Bill was inside.

"I'm off to say hi to Bill," I grinned. "Do you want a beer?"

"Bill left about five minutes ago. And yes I'd love a beer."

"Grrrrrrr… ARSE!"

So there we have it. Instead of regaling you with a tale of how I chatted to one of Hollywood's most familiar faces, I'm left instead with a story of how I stood next to him at the bar for a few minutes and ignored him.

Or I could just claim that famous people *SO* don't impress me. Yeah… I think I'll do that.