Has Anybody Seen This Woman?
You don’t need to poke around the dirtiest corners of the web to get your kicks. Without AdBlock installed, arousal will find you in the unlikeliest places. One minute you’re researching how other people haven’t wrecked their bodies, and hating them; the next, you’re struck by a vision:
My head’s still spinning, so forgive me if the next bit’s incoherent at all.
No, nobody has seen this woman. Not in real life. That’s not what fat people look like.
I recognise the bloated belly and enormous thighs from when I used to look at myself in mirrors. But overall our heroin, like Barbie, doesn’t add up. Everything above BELLY’S GONNA GET YA is a different person - an aspirational figure. The arms are nice, the boobies perfectly adequate and the jawline lacks any trace of jowling.
And the face… Has a caboodle of eyes and holes ever enchanted so?
The purpose of this unnerving collision of beauty and plenty is presumably to make it easier to imagine fair Gertrude (her name) after she’s been on the receiving end of one weird tip for a few months.
Something like this:
Or, if it goes really well, this:
It’s a shame Gertrude is to diabolical internet scams what Duffman is to Duff beer. Being a fat piece of shit fucking sucks and people will convince themselves anything’s worth a try if it ends the suffering without the need for horrible, horrible exercise and terrible, hideous self-restraint.
People will be conned into paying $80 a month for a gunnysack of magic belly beans, until either it works (no) or they come to their senses or run out of money or whatever. And then, by the time the ghouls behind it all actually let you unsubscribe, your belly is probably being conned by similar scams in the hope of being rid of its belly. That happens too.
So here’s a more realistic depiction of the happy ending coming to us all:
Gertrude, it’s over.
A Note to Potential Employers
Last week I found myself in a rather large farmer’s pat when, during a job interview, the subject of this blog came up. This was unsurprising because I provide a link to it on my CV. After all it demonstrates a genuine interest in the web and writing and, in some of the more sprawling rants, hints of critical analysis.
What it also showcases is a grotesquely black sense of humour and a fondness for revelling in the bleak - which is why you may think I’m mad to make it so visible to employers. It’s important as an interviewee to have something memorable about you. This is one way in which I distinguish myself from the rest and show I have a personality, for better or for worse.
Most of it probably wouldn’t be much cause for concern - sure there’s plenty of bile and vitriol but it’s light-hearted and harmless enough. And my tribute to Will Smith was just lovely. The problem in my interview was that my most recent post was highly introspective and could be boiled down to ‘this is why I’m rubbish’.
The context was that I’d just had a phone interview for a job it turned out I was completely unsuitable for. I totally fumbled it and when it was over I felt stupid, demotivated and as though everything I’d achieved in life had amounted to nothing. This all spilled onto my keyboard. The post took on a life of its own as I examined my academic and social development from Eleven Plus to Jobcentre Plus, and contemplated where it had all gone wrong and why.
It included such phrases as:
“My brain has stagnated and my capacity for learning along with it.”
“I try to think about [my experience] and there’s just nothing there. It’s a big grey space, like straining to remember how a song goes that you heard once on the radio.”
Of course, it hadn’t really all gone wrong. That was just how I felt at the time, and I’ve since screwed my head back on. Anyone who’s been recently made redundant is entitled to the odd moment of self-doubt, I think. From my interviewer’s perspective, however, I was pegged as this useless, depressed, uninterested wart before I’d even shown up.
When it came to the interview and I was talking about my best qualities and how I’m young, keen and enthusiastic, they had a hard time believing I wasn’t putting on an act just so I could get paid every month. I was essentially presenting myself as the opposite of everything I’d written in the recent past.
A job interview isn’t about putting on an act. It’s about accentuating your best qualities, with an element of performance only insofar as you prepare specific answers to likely questions. You refresh your memory of positive examples of relevant experience that may otherwise have lain dormant and led to awkward silences. It’s like revising for an exam - and unless you’re devoid of moral integrity the answers are genuine.
But human beings are multi-faceted creatures. We all present ourselves differently to different people and in different contexts. An interview question I’ve been warned about is ‘Are you different when you go out with friends to how you are at work?’ I don’t know what the ‘wrong’ answer to that is, but if it’s the obvious - ‘Well, duh’ - I don’t know what planet that person’s living on.
I’m not just different around friends - I adapt to specific groups of friends. I go by different names. Normally Tom suffices, but to family I’m Thomas and in the darker corners of Hull I’m known as Tommy. Through each one runs a common thread of Tomosity. It’s all the same person, just with minor adjustments. A bit like the many roles of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This applies to pretty much everyone.
Certainly, there’s a huge gulf between my professional self and the depraved persona I adopt here. I’ve been very clear that this is a persona, and not in fact me as I truly am. If an interview is about accentuating your best qualities, Without a Corset is about hideously exaggerating the worst.
Why’s that? Because it’s more entertaining that way. There’s very little comedy in talking about how everything’s going great. Humour and despair go hand in hand. Too many obvious examples to list. Think of it like Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, minus the genius. Larry David the character is not the same as Larry David the person.
I tried to make it clear in the sidebar where I describe myself as
- An accident that grew into a full-blown disaster
- A dodgy uncle
- An acclaimed agony aunt
- A bitter, gin-soaked misanthrope
Obviously this is a character - even down to the brooding serial killer photo. If this was an accurate description of my true self, I wouldn’t publish any of this and I certainly wouldn’t put it on my CV!
My aim with this blog is to entertain and write about topics people can identify with from the bleakest perspective possible. The post in question, which I’ve removed for the time being because it’s more trouble than it’s worth, got a lot of Facebook likes and shares, because it touched (brutally) on feelings of inadequacy that we all experience from time to time - especially when unemployed.
My aim in an interview is to impress my potential employer and demonstrate why I’d be an asset to the company. I only apply for jobs I think I’d be good at, and I’m always thinking about long term progression. I have a lot going for me but I don’t talk about it here because compared to rat infestations and gin it’s pretty dull. And I’m very squeamish about bigging myself up. Modesty is my friend.
It was unwise to publish the offending post while I was still looking for work, I admit. Its very personal nature blurred the line between Tom the blogger and Tom the potential employee. I stated my temporary feelings of uselessness as facts so as not to dilute the content, but in doing so I made a terrible first impression before the interview even started.
I’ll probably remove my real name and face from the site because although I don’t apologise for my style, I do appreciate why a respectable company wouldn’t want to be associated with it in any way. It’s a tad filthy. I wrote about how schools could do more to prepare students for the real world and said:
“Forget teaching children how to put condoms on big blue willies - when’s that ever going to be useful?”
So yeah… I hope this clears everything up. I do have a winning personality and plenty to offer, but this blog really isn’t it. The following tweet from a magazine editor I met seems an apt place to conclude:
“My top tip for you might be to change your avatar. Makes you look like an axe murderer when in fact you’re quite sweet.”
I’ve Finally Found Love and Everything’s Going to be OK
When you spend the majority of your life single, lonely, miserable and guilty that you don’t have worse things to kill yourself over, your perspective becomes somewhat skewed. You become accustomed to the fact that a mutually loving relationship with another human being isn’t in fact an entitlement, but a total fallacy perpetuated by every TV programme ever made.
You resign yourself to a life of celibacy, and despite having it thrust upon you in the first instance, you behave as though it’s a lifestyle choice. Sex? With a person? With me? I don’t quite hate anyone enough to contemplate inflicting that nauseating experience on them, you say.
And you can live with that, for the most part. Casually resent everyone in the world who has found that special someone, but accept that they’re on a different planet. Where they breathe oxygen.
Meet beautiful women with winning personalities, but don’t for a second think you’re worth any more to them than a gay friend. Just wait until you’re drunk and tell them they’re great or something. That’s basically as much as you can get away with.
This, clearly, is no way to spend your life, but it’s an easy pattern to fall into when you’ve never had your wretched existence validated by another person. People always say you’ll find someone eventually but you know that’s not true because your lack of self esteem has warped you beyond anything remotely approachable, let alone fuckable.
But you know what? Those people are right. You will find someone eventually. How do I know this? Because I have. And if I can, with my many acres of self-loathing, you can too.
The other week I got talking to an attractive woman at the pub, of all places. The starting point was the fact that I have no interest in football and have no qualms with admitting this to drunken boneheads. I would sooner discuss EastEnders, even if it is terrible television, I said.
We hit it off discussing the ludicrous existence of Heather Trott. If you’re unfamiliar with this character, you’re likely to recognise her from Harry Hill’s TV Burp, where I believe she’s had more screen time than she ever did in Albert Square. Basically, she’s comically overweight, enjoys George Michael and never catches a break. And now she’s dead. Her epitaph is thus: Impregnated by Darren Miller (a child in a suit); murdered by Ben Mitchell (an abomination of acting, characterisation and bizarrely the focus of every major storyline for the last couple of years). Rest in peace.
As you can well imagine, this is the kind of discussion I excel at. But given I was talking to a nice lady, I was in the usual ‘just appreciate that strangers might think you’re together, even though you don’t have a chance in Hell’ mode. So I was taken aback when small talk was elevated to medium talk, and she expressed an interest in seeing me again.
I won’t bore you with the details but we have been out on a few dates since then - I know, date! - and have gotten to know each other exceptionally well in a brief space of time. I’m always brutally honest about my foibles because that’s basically all there is to me, and normally this is my downfall - but not this time. Turns out she’s a maze of insecurities too, deep down. But she makes it look good. And you know how every woman claims that a sense of humour and good personality is more important than physical attractiveness in a man, and it’s total bollocks? Well, she means it. She’d have to, because I look like a government experiment that went awry.
We’ve since entered a relationship and I realise how unhealthy my state of mind was before I met her. I can’t believe I was like that for so long. My only pleasures in life were things that would see me dead before 50. White wine spritzers and the like. But I don’t need any of that crap now that I’m with her. She makes me want to be the best I can be. Just being around her makes me a better person.
I’ve always thought I was a romantic deep, deep down and at long last that side of my personality is allowed to flourish without threat of a restraining order. She is everything to me and I couldn’t be happier. Love is a beautiful thing, my friends.
If you’re lonely and unhappy, hang in there. It will happen. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but there’s someone for everyone and miracles can happen.
Update (2/4/12): Just to confirm, this was an April Fool. At my own expense.
Everything That’s Wrong With Will Smith
Soft? Yeah, more like Microsoft.
Willard Christopher “Will” Smith, Jr, also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood. Smith has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won multiple Grammy Awards.
And he’s also got a Wikipedia page.
But, is his popularity deserved? Really? What’s wrong with Will Smith?
Nothing, I’m afraid. If you came here expecting a tirade of jealous, racially dubious resentment, you can just about do one. This man is the epitome of talent, and anyone who says otherwise can just about do one. Sure, the following films were pig’s garbage…
- Men in Black 2
- Wild Wild West
- I, Robot
- I Am Legend
…And the following films are guaranteed to be pig’s garbage…
- Men in Black 3
- A sequel to Hitch, if ever made
…But that has less to do with Smith than with the fuckwits who conceived those total Hilarys. Can’t blame a guy who can do literally anything for taking shit jobs that pay millions. Look at Nick ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ Cage.
As far as I’m concerned, Big Will earned his stripes on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and his music and occasionally good films are a bonus. If these scenes don’t remotely move you, you can just about do one. And his uncle makes mine look like pig’s garbage.
So, Will Smith is great. As are pillowy mounds of mashed potatoes.
How to Ask the Right Questions and Not Get Murdered
I’m interested in getting into writing professionally, which naturally brings to mind the American Pie films. Specifically the wisdom of Chris ‘Oz’ Ostreicher, as portrayed by the devastating Chris ‘Oz from American Pie’ Klein.
Oz on being sensitive in order to rid his dick of its shrink wrap:
“You ask them questions, and listen to what they have to say and shit.”
Steve Stifler in response:
“I dunno, man. That sounds like a lot of work.”
Yes, Steven, it is a lot of work! But it does pay off for young Oz, who finds that by simply listening and asking questions he not only succeeds in nailing the girl from American Beauty, but also finds himself falling in love for the first time. Why? Because by shutting up about himself and paying attention to Heather, he develops an understanding and appreciation for her as a human being.
And what a human being she is.
Hey, wait a minute…
Bonus lesson: The right make up and lighting can be the difference between beauty and pie.
So anyway, the point… Just as it’s important to set your self-interest aside in order to get laid, it’s vital for a journalist to be curious and inquisitive beyond their own blinkered little world. That’s the only way you’ll get the goods, which in this case are less moist and awkward than they are financially rewarding.
And if you’re really good you’ll be financially rewarded enough to afford the moist and awkward stuff too, without the need for a strategy.
A writer should of course put their own personal stamp on a story or article - provided it’s appropriate - but a sure fire way to lose at words is to constantly witter on about yourself and nothing else. Unless you’re Stephen Fry, you haven’t earned the right to be self-indulgent. Nobody cares.
Obviously with your own blog that nobody reads you can fill your boots and have your head up your arse to your heart’s content. I’m talking professionally here. Many of the jobs I’m looking into require the candidate to be at ease interviewing people from all walks of life. And to avoid clichés in their writing. At the end of the day, that’s all you need.
Having had no formal interviewing experience, I think I’d better get some practice in sharpish. In the interests of broadening my horizons and not just talking about myself, here is the first of what I hope will be many interviews conducted by yours truly.
The lucky interviewee? Yours truly from about two weeks ago.
Me: There’s been a rumour circulating lately that a couple of nights ago you befriended a strange old man at a pub and accompanied him to his house.
Past Me: Yes, I’ve heard the stories.
Would you care to confirm or deny?
I’m afraid it’s true. Of course it’s true. Substitute the old man for a nice lady and the pub for a club and his house for her house and then you’ve got a ridiculous story.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. How did this come about?
It was a Friday evening. I’d had four pints after work with a colleague, who then had to depart. The sensible thing would probably have been to go straight home and keep out of trouble but by that point the damage had been done. I was in the mood for fun.
What did you do once you were on your own?
I went to the nearest old man pub and carried on drinking.
In your mind, what was the best case scenario from that point? What were you hoping to accomplish?
After crossing a certain threshold I go into research mode. I study the people around me and it reignites my general contempt for mankind. It’s in this state that I come up with most of my ideas for stuff to write about. Sometimes you overhear conversations you sort of wish you could get in on, and if you’re drunk enough you do attempt to get in on them.
Results are mixed. Some people are great and you become best friends, some are wankers. But by the time you’re comfortable approaching strangers, you’re probably the one who looks like a bit of a wanker. You have to bear in that in mind at all times.
The man that night - he was great I take it?
Yes, we had a merry old time discussing British comedy, as I recall. That’s where the story ought to end.
Where does the story end?
My memory is hazy at this point, but for some reason I agreed to go back to his house where we’d share a drink and a cigarette. It was on my way home. Why not, I thought.
Didn’t our mother tell us never to go home with strange old men?
Yes. Looking back this was incredibly reckless of me. I’ve seen enough horror films to be more cautious than that. He could have been anyone. And it was like a horror film at one point. I have a vivid memory of his positively ancient mother slowly hobbling down the stairs towards me. That was unsettling.
What’s that, mother?
Well exactly. Worst part is I doubt I’d recognise either of them if I saw them again.
Best you can do is be grateful they didn’t burn you in the bath and learn from your experience. Would you say you learned anything from this?
Not really. In fact I suspect I’ll have forgotten all about it two weeks from now.
Well, I wish you the best luck for the future and hope our next conversation is less sinister.
Thank you for great interview. How was I? Professional enough? Oh he’s gone.
Censors Who Make Cuts to Great TV Should Have Cuts Made to Them
It’s frustrating when you find a blog you like and the lazy sod responsible doesn’t update regularly. It’s like making a great new friend who doesn’t bother to get in touch again. It’s like making a great new friend.
Some are more reliable than others though - especially ones with a mission. In (500) Days of Homer the aim is to review every episode of The Simpsons from the beginning, an episode a day. There are a few of these knocking about, and I find them fascinating.
I’ve also been following Mark Watches because he’s doing Buffy the Vampire Slayer with no prior knowledge of the show. Makes me quite envious actually. I’m desensitised to its greatness at this point and know all the words to the musical, including the bits that aren’t musical. In his reviews he often goes into wild tangents about his sexuality and it really hits home the importance of well-crafted TV that has something to say about the hellish experience we call life.
I’m not going to gush about how breathtakingly sophisticated, intricate and daring The Simpsons and Buffy were in their prime. Quite apart from the fact it’s been said many times before, when I try to be positive for too long I start to foam at the mouth.
So let’s get to the point.
At the weekend Syfy UK ran the twenty greatest episodes of Buffy, as voted by the viewers. Great, I thought. That’s 11am-10pm sorted for those days, at least.
But knowing the episodes far too well (I have the DVDs and don’t need Syfy for anything) I started to notice irritating cuts all over the place. Pretty much all the gore, for instance, and all the satisfying details of people getting fucked up. Beautiful sound effects like fingers being broken, necks being snapped and blood being sucked from a little Asian girl through several plastic tubes.
In the episode ‘Hush’, everyone loses their voice and has to rely mostly on physical gestures to communicate, with hilarious consequences. Syfy opted to remove all the ‘pop nob in fanny’ gestures…
…but thankfully kept in the ‘pop stake in heart’ gesture, which confuses the characters but apparently not the censors.
Or maybe sex = offensive and hand jobs = fine. I mean, what? Anyway the result is that by removing almost all of these beautiful little moments, the show starts to lose its edge - its teeth, if you will.
It’s not just the physical stuff, it’s dialogue too. In the worst instances the edits make stuff no longer make sense. Watch the edited version of ‘Grave’ and you’ll hear no reference to the fact that Buffy was almost raped a couple of episodes earlier.
I understand sometimes stuff has to be cut to make time for as many wretched adverts as possible, but if it’s at the expense of things making sense, why even bother showing them? Have some respect for the shows, TV channels!
The many syndication edits to The Simpsons are similarly deplorable. Remember this exchange between Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie?
Skinner: Alright, Mr. Smartenheimer, that does it. First, you’re going to give back everything you’ve stolen. Then, I’m sentencing you to one week of the lowest, most degrading work known to man - janitorial work.
Willie: Ah, geeze. I’m standing right here, Sir.
Skinner: Ah, yes. Uh… Take a good look at him, Nelson, ‘cause that’s where you’re headed.
In some versions they cut Skinner’s last line, making the joke not exactly unfunny, but nowhere as funny as intended. It certainly doesn’t do justice to the talents of the then writers.
In ‘The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show’ they sometimes cut the scene in which Krusty unrolls the legal scroll to confirm that Poochie will stay dead, never to return. So you see him holding the scroll but you don’t know why or what it’s for. This kind of contempt for the audience nudges good Simpsons in the unsavoury direction of the modern, terrible Simpsons (or Zombie Simpsons as it’s popularly known). But at least the new episodes are created with that contempt, and would probably benefit from savage edits.
Although episode-a-day bloggers surely use DVDs or sensible online piracy, it bothers me to think of people experiencing Buffy or The Simpsons for the first time on TV in these watered down versions. I mean, they’re both good enough that the censors would have to smear their own faeces over the screen to render them bad. But the little bits they tend to cut are often the difference between good and great.
I can understand the need to make edits due to time constraints, but the fact that everything cut from Buffy is gory, edgy or horrific indicates a second agenda of making it child-friendly. These are frequently shown pre-watershed, after all. But that’s bollocks in itself.
It’s OK to show fingers being broken, as long as we don’t hear it? It’s OK for people to fight to the death, as long as we don’t see fist on face? Do it properly or don’t do it at all. And I say do it properly.
It’s good to scare the shit out of children, otherwise they believe they can swan about with their yo-yos and Panda Pops, thinking the world’s never going to punch the snot out of them. I dread to think how young I was when I first watched Stephen King’s IT…
But boy did it teach me to be cautious.
I’m not saying it should be a complete free-for-all with torture porn airing at the same time as the Antiques Roadshow, but if you’re young enough to be mentally scarred by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Mr Burns calling U2 wankers…
…then it’s probably not up to you what you watch anyway. Or it shouldn’t be.
Then I think about what’s considered acceptable pre-watershed by mainstream channels. In Coronation Street a rapist was recently found not guilty but that’s OK because last night he was murdered and found in a puddle of blood. Before millions of potentially impressionable young viewers, it’s not about justice, or even vengeance - a serious rape storyline boils down to a gaudy whodunnit.
It’s fairly entertaining, even if it doesn’t really say anything about anything. Far worse is this thing:
And this thing:
I think Geordie Shore is post-watershed but I see adverts for this shit and all its loathsome ilk all the time. These programmes feature literally the worst people in the world and glamourise being a a self-centred tosser with absolutely no concept of the world beyond your own irritatingly well constructed body.
People may claim to watch these things ironically but the problem is that people are watching these things. Someone be offended at this. Someone censor this. Someone break these people’s fingers and listen to the sound it makes.
Censorship can be a terrible and oppressive thing. Probably the worst kind of ship after ‘relationship’ and
But it’s important in certain contexts. I think a lot of TV’s got it all wrong. From the needless and gutless butchering of the good stuff - on ITV2 you don’t even hear Doc Brown say you’re about to see some serious shit - to its proliferation of genuinely damaging guff that trivialises serious issues and makes heroes out of orange twats.
To conclude on a positive note - and my mouth will foam - TV censoring, as well as providing an extra incentive to buy the DVD, can be hilarious. This glorious moment from Snakes on a Plane probably makes it all worth it:
Supersize Vs Superskinny is Supercalifattystickthinextralardy-docious
Does the abundance of attractive, charming and successful gits on TV make you despair? Do you want to violently shake the lot of them until their lovely faces are as wonky and terrible as yours?
Me too, which is why I was delighted to see the return of body horror freak show Supersize Vs Superskinny this week. Like The Jeremy Kyle Show, everyone on this is just a regular, repulsive, burger-brained human being. Unlike The Jeremy Kyle Show it isn’t presented by the King of the Bottomless Pit, but by Dr Christian Jessen.
Or Saint Christian, as he’s also known. His halo is a giant onion ring held in mid air by sheer will power against the deep fried forces of evil. He’s the only person in the programme who is isn’t depicted as bewildered cretin to whom locating the correct hole to shove food into is a super achievement.
For instance, this is how the victims are introduced.
“We’ve rounded up sixteen of the worst offenders and brought them together for the first time. They’ll be paired off before they’re sent into the all new Feeding Clinic.”
Does that sound like they’re talking about people, or cattle? The use of ‘Clinic’ is laughable. They should have called it The Food Hole, but then people might start confusing it with their own mouths.
Sure enough, the superthin and the superfat are ‘rounded up’ in a big shed to be paired off by matchmaker Saint Christian. It’s basically a singles night, but everyone’s in their knickers. Matching grey-white knickers made from the most unflinching material known to man.
The combination of Boots-esque lighting and zombie make up ensures that these people all look fucking rough. The fat people look like great purple brains with arms and legs poking out, while the thin ones resemble Voldemort in his between-living years. Every stretch mark, every fold, every flap of skin is over-exposed because things have got to get worse before they get better.
And because Channel 4 is less interested in offering useful advice to ill-educated people than it is in grossing us out. We’re told:
“It’s not about what you’re eating - it’s about what’s eating you.”
But in this programme it’s pretty much only about what they’re eating. Because it’s a freak show.
Every week the two hopeless eaters have to swap diets for a couple of days, despite both their diets being terrible. It’s to shock them before they receive a proper health plan or something. But really it’s just an exercise in mild torture designed to delight the Bushtucker Trial audience.
This week’s chubby checker was 25 stone Helen, who routinely gobbles the following items as a late night snack:
- Crunchy Nut with cream
- Brown sauce on toast
- Energy drink in a glass
To her, food’s like a roller coaster. There’s nothing better. Phew, what a lonely, miserable life she must lead! Or so you’d think.
As ever it turns out the struggling loser is in fact married with children. Four children in five years. Her husband says she’s beautiful inside and out. What’s the problem then? You’ve done it. You’ve won.
Helen and Saint Christian also meet Pauline, a woman twice Helen’s size who ‘lives’ in America (where else). Her weight is insane. Her body looks like the Elephant Man’s head. She needs SC’s help twice as much as Helen, I reckon.
So what does SC do? He… sends Fat and Fatter out for a meal and has a rummage through Fatter’s food stock. He later tells her off for not having any diet versions of soft drinks. Remember, it’s not about what you’re eating. Or drinking.
“The human in me really hopes Pauline loses the weight. The doctor in me finds it very hard to believe she actually will.”
And the TV presenter in you knows she won’t fit the main Supersize Vs Superskinny format any better than she’d fit a phone box. Her role here is to shock Helen into losing a bit of weight, nothing more. Helen’s the star because her happy ending is just a makeover away.
All these obnoxious ‘mission’ programmes Channel 4 shits out need to have happy endings. That’s when the contestants come back at the end wearing people make up and dressed in people clothes. The harsh zombie lighting we’ve seen all episode is replaced by lovely soft lighting that rings false in the opposite direction.
We’re treated to ghastly footage of the two winners dancing about and high fiving each other. They look the same.
Everyone pretends the ‘transformation’ is down to SC’s healthy diet plans - which, by the way, we never see. We saw Helen and a gaunt she-scarecrow who drinks tea like I drink gin get handed a folder, the contents of which we don’t see. And never see. It’s probably photos of SC’s holy todger.
There is nothing here to guide anyone on a healthy diet. There is no guidance, only predictable, formulaic, sneering, supposedly uplifting bullshit interspersed with shocking imagery courtesy of that guy who designs cigarette boxes. Every week.
But if you like seeing ugly people and don’t mind ghoulish programme makers repeatedly squandering an opportunity to tackle an issue with any weight, Supersize Vs Superskinny is the programme for you!
5 Things I Swear By
In order to keep the rats at bay, I cleaned the flat today. It was exhausting. Here’s how I rewarded myself:
The best thing about tins of tuna is the initial opening, when the tuna piss seeps out like it’s been holding it tin all day.
Here’s a similar meal debacle from the day before:
Note the simply unacceptable ratio of milk to Shreddies. Those codger-knitted stamps of whole grain should be drowning. Drowning. But I didn’t plan ahead. I horrifically misjudged the situation.
Clearly I’m more Bastard Chef than Master Chef. Sometimes I resort to my own special (K) brand of cooking. This cake I made earlier, for instance, was simply delicious:
What have I become?
OK, so life’s not exactly ideal. I’m sure it’s not for you either, even if your culinary finesse does stretch beyond sponge cakes. But we all have our own little ways of getting through the pain of it all.
Here are five things in life that I swear by, accompanied by photographic evidence of me swearing by them. So you had better run along and fuck off if you don’t like swearing by things.
5. Iron Maiden
Yeah, and what? If only I had a better place to hang that thing than on the door.
You know what they say - keep your friends close, but not close enough to interact with them in person.
3. Lesbian porn
Straight porn makes me bitter and resentful. I only watch it when I can realistically imagine myself in the place of the man. So, never.
Having had certain bad… episodes with most the other spirits, gin is the only one I haven’t broken up with. However, I have broken up with having that sort of money, so Grandpa’s cough medicine on a given night is more often than not…
1. Dirty cider
And that is the case tonight.
The Rats Are Coming
In my building there are eleven flats. Depending on who you ask, mine is either Flat 10 or ‘The Chokey’s Revenge’.
If you ask me, it’s home.
Everyone’s post accumulates in a big stack in the hallway beneath a notice board. Normally the board fails to spark an interest. Just a bunch of emergency numbers I’d probably be too scared to call in an emergency and ineffective posters for uninteresting things.
But this morning a new addition to the notice board drew my blinkered gaze (no mean feat). This was the offending attention groper:
I don’t know which one is Flat 8, but if I know maths it’s pretty close to 10. The rats are coming.
They’ve had to move out. I’d vaguely wondered what all the upheaval was. The rats are coming.
Not dealt with appropriately. Will they deal with me appropriately? The rats are coming.
Particularly those of you with children. Don’t children like animals? Who has children here anyway? If I’d ever seen a child I wouldn’t keep bringing them back here myself.
Do vermin eat dust? I don’t own a mop.
When I got home the notice had been removed and the hallway was strewn with loose letters. There had clearly been a struggle. The rats are becoming more confident.
Hark! Someone at the door…
Not someone. Some things.
Creeping, scurrying, squealing, snorting…
Oh, right. Those children I abducted. I guess the rats can have the place after all. The rats are welcome.
Mirrors Aren’t Your Friend
It happened on Monday. I had one of those terrible realisations: tomorrow’s a work day too.
Not only that, but I caught a look at myself in a mirror and discovered I was actually fat again. I knew I must be, having lived quite relentlessly like a celibate Henry VIII since late November, but I didn’t feel genuinely ashamed of myself until that moment.
Most people indulge at Christmas but generally snap out of it a few days into January and get on with their lives. Not I, said the pig. The extended gluttony reawakens old, revolting habits and they don’t die until I’m shocked into action by the reflection of an actual toad.
It also happened that the following day was Valentine’s Day, which is traditionally a time for unpleasant reflection anyway. So that worked out. I was going to write a poem about my day, but decided against it because I’m not mad at Valentine’s Day, I’m mad at me. Mad as a balloon.
For what it’s worth, this is as far as I got:
The toilet’s life flushed before its eyes.
The weight… over.
It could have been a masterpiece, obviously, but it wasn’t to be. See those double meanings? You’ve lost weight because the wait’s over now you’re not constipated. But you’re still overweight - the belly remains, despite releasing its final contents - its remains, you might say.
I’ve just talked myself into believing it’s a fine poem in its own right. Glad I left it at that and didn’t bring love into it.
What was I talking about again? Oh, the fat.
The problem was it had taken this long to realise. Why hadn’t my mirror revealed the truth to me sooner? Much as I try to avoid it, I see my reflection in it everyday.
In fact, it wasn’t my own mirror that told me. It was one I don’t see very often, at work. Have you noticed how the mirrors in brightmares like Boots are shockingly realistic and make you ashamed to be out in public? Those are the honest ones, and this was like that.
They’re the HD televisions of vanity. Every nook, cranny, blotch and sag of your dreadful visage is exposed. The mirror at home is too familiar and fuzzy. It lies to protect your feelings. It’s still got Teletext.
I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to avoid getting in this state again, I cannot rely on mirrors. They either pat you on the back and tell you everything’s fine, or slap you in the face when it’s too late. Mirrors aren’t friends.
Fortunately, a couple of years ago someone invented a thing called a camera and that’s going to be how I sort my life out. As of Valentine’s Day I’ve been taking a photo of my face everyday. I plan to do this for precisely three months. On May 14th I’ll compile all the photos into a video that tracks the transition. If all goes well the end product will resemble a defaced ball sack slowly deflating.
It’s not an original idea, but I think it’s a pretty good incentive to lose some weight. Unlike that swine the mirror, the camera never lies. Every time I have the urge to neck a Pot Noodle (at least twice a day) I’ll just think how it’ll look in tomorrow’s photo. Fool-proof.
To show I’m genuine, at least partially, here is the first photo. Here is me at what I hope will turn out to be my lowest ebb. Here is me blotched and bloated to buggery, wishing I was dead or at least that my eyes aligned properly. Here is me on the most romantic day of the year:
Sorry to put you through that. Suggest you keep a copy in your wallet and have a good hard look whenever your self-esteem is threatened.
See you in three months!