Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Swaying on the DLR to Shadwell, I noted someone had scrawled SHILPA SHETTY IS A MUTON on one of the carriage walls. I've never been into Bollywood chicks, personally - are you kidding? Imagine all that fucking singing in the bath. I blame my plushophile tendencies on the Cadbury's Caramel bunny. This was an animated female rabbit who appeared in a series of 1980s TV adverts for a sickly, gooey chocolate bar. My hormones were spewing themselves all over the shop when I was 11. Other kids at school were going through their rites of passage, dressing up in LaCosse shirts, plaid trousers and slip-on shoes and droning on about wanting to fuck Kim Basinger. But Kim did nothing for me, I'd seen better looking roadkill rotting in the sewers of Marsh Farm. I craved the Caramel Bunny, her smooth sort of half-Northern Irish / half-Canuck voice caressing my lugs as she seductively prised the cocoa bar open to reveal a yellowy sweet gunge, which she'd proceed to smear all over the camera. That delicate bob tail, sprouting from her buxom rump, teased me to buggeration and drove me mental with grief - grief that I'd never get to canoodle with the most beautiful and unattainable of all zoomorphs.

I became obsessed and ill. By 13, all my mates had been with prostitutes and were toasting their newfound maculinity by binge drinking and practising wife-bashing on their younger sisters. I remained repulsed by humanoid women, with their waxy pallors, their plucked eyebrows. Their pathetic little shaving sticks! My fantasies about the Caramel Bunny became increasingly extreme. She began to roam the woods in a pair of leather thigh-high boots and a nazi uniform. Lusty hedgehogs shot their wads into the dewy grass as she bent over, her glorious rabbit twat glistening in the sun. By 16, every other male teenager in the neighbourhood was married and moving into their first Barretts Home. I was spending all my money on Sylvanian Families toy sets, smothering Mrs Bear in hot kisses and nibbling on the Badger kids' paws. It was then I started to really worry - am I turning into a paedo?

Luckily, a quick course of ECT sorted me out and I've been into posh, neurotic, uppity little fucking madams ever since. Back to Shadwell - I was attending my second fix of Xylitol live, at the dingy George Tavern. For some reason I turned up about an hour too early, so ended up sitting at a blood-caked table by myself, with just a bunch of Willy Nelson and George Jones records playing in the background. Two other blokes were sitting drinking on their own, in separate parts of the pub. Trust me, there's few things sadder than sitting in a pub on a Friday night, listening to scratchy C&W records with only two lonesome 50 year old men for company. Especially when there's a blonde girl fiddling around with a laptop in the corner. Luckily a drunk came in and spent 20 minutes or so shouting complete rubbish about walking his dog over the top of the putrid Willie Nelson record. Johnny Cash might've been some hip gunslinging rock'n'roll hoodoo outlaw priest to you, I always thought he was just a fat old cowboy my mum liked. A Toby Jug in a wig.

Anyway, this gig was dogged by controversy. Apparently some whinger with nothing better to do has been making a fuss about the fact that Xylitol have recorded a cover version of the Oppressed song "Joe Hawkins". As a result, Jim Bunnyhausen wasn't allowed to perform with a microphone. "This is an outrage!" I fumed, heading for the toilet, slipping on a few decomposing rats and discarded embryos on the way. He started off with "Marike" and, as a gesture of defiance, "Joe Hawkins" swiftly followed. A STRAIGHT COUPLE was sitting on one of the tables, I went and asked them what they thought about this blatant display of electro-scene censorship. The boyfriend, who was about 40, said that he'd never heard of The Oppressed, but that he was familiar with the Leyton Buzzards (rubbish!). His girlfriend, who looked much younger and had a Mediterranean hue about her - ah, so that's it - innocent Sicilian language student corrupted by divorcee English tutor! - sat in silence. Jim was frothing at the nostrils, belting out "Ye Ye Electronique". Suddenly though, a tall woman barged her way up to the makeshift 'stage' and announced that she was Jim's estranged wife!! Apparently they'd got married when he was 16. It didn't last very long, their teenage passion soon evaporated and the fact she'd been into SWP politics and enjoyed Tom Hanks films hadn't helped. Jim raged as his legally betrothed demanded a cut of the profits from sales of his Xylitol "Functionary" CD (which is selling out fast on Warpmart - you'll have to hurry to get the 3" version. Actually, my copy's ultra-rare, it's got "bonus track" after the "Joe Hawkins" track listing, subsequent copies omit this information), as well as half of his record collection! Marriage-don't go there, kids.

But get this - I went back to the DLR at 1am, and the fucking thing wasn't even running! "You've missed the last train back west, it cuts off at half twelve - you'll need to get a bus!", some duffer in a blue jacket quipped."All aboard for Cyprus!" he boomed to an empty carriage. "See the submerged treasures of Pontoon Dock!" "HOW THE FUCK DOES IT CUT OFF AT HALF TWELVE?", I screamed, "IT'S MEANT TO BE A ROBOT TRAIN! YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN BE DRIVING IT, YOU REDUNDANT PIECE OF HUMAN OFFAL!" He told me he was calling the police to charge me with verbal abuse, so I had to walk back to Commercial Road. Luckily, there was some Nigerian student who needed to get back to Finsbury Park, so we went splits on a cab. I tried to tell this tipsy scholar that "West One (Shine on Me)" by The Ruts is the ultimate hymn to the patron saint of getting drunk people home in one piece. Pure poetry it is - Rescue me or here I stay / A traffic island castaway... Unfortunately he didn't know what I was on about. He pressed a tenner into my palm, terror in his eyes, and got out of the cab early, at Old Street.

Robot train my eye.
Jokes mate...good post.
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