A Sunday Short.

I gone done a short story. Read it below. Please.

Your Mate Steve.

Your mate Steve is coming out tonight. You haven’t seen your mate Steve in nearly two years. Last time you saw your mate Steve, he was getting off with your sister in your parent’s bed.

Your mate Steve calls to say he’s already in the pub. Your mate Steve is already drunk. Your mate Steve has ordered twenty Jagerbombs between four of you but doesn’t have enough to pay for them. Your mate Steve doesn’t care that it’s only 7pm. Your mate Steve says he’ll pay you back later.

Your mate Steve greets your friends with a hard slap on the back. Your mate Steve insists everyone calls him ‘Bruiser’. Your mate Steve asks who’s getting the next round in. Your mate Steve goes to the bathroom and comes back buzzed. Your mate Steve shows you his new tattoo. It means Power, your mate Steve Says. Your mate Steve didn’t even feel it. In fact, your mate Steve says, it tickled. Your mate Steve is wearing a deep V t-shirt. It’s obvious from the shaving rash on his chest that your mate Steve isn’t naturally hairless. Your mate Steve’s nipple is on show.

Your mate Steve goes to the cashpoint and returns with a bird but no cash. Your mate Steve says Stacey’s got a sister and winks at you.

Your mate Steve is fist-pumping. This place has got good vibes, your mate Steve says. Every so often your mate Steve shouts “TUUUUUNE” in your ear. Your mate Steve goes to the bar with your card and brings back two drinks, both for him. Your mate Steve is chugging WKDs and chucking the bottles into the crowd. Your mate Steve has beef with the barman. Your mate Steve doesn’t smile in photos.

Your mate Steve keeps calling everyone “chief”. Your mate Steve grabs you by the neck and tells you he loves you. Your mate Steve plants a wet one on your forehead. Your mate Steve can’t remember the name of his last girlfriend. Your mate Steve dates women, not girls. Treat ‘em mean to keep ‘em keen, your mate Steve says. No small tits or fat chicks, your mate Steve specifies. Your mate Steve sprays his balls with Lynx Africa. Your mate Steve once got a blowie from a bird who was on Take Me Out.

Your mate Steve doesn’t want to go home yet. Your mate Steve keeps flicking you in the balls, chanting “Strip club! Strip club!” Tiger Tiger’s open for another hour, your mate Steve says. Your mate Steve says the girls are “DTF”.

Your mate Steve is sat on the curb, spitting blood. Your mate Steve thinks the bouncer’s a prick. Your mate Steve says that girl was fridgid anyway. Your mate Steve doesn’t have anywhere to sleep tonight. He’s just going to wing it, your mate Steve concludes.

Your mate Steve is calling a guy with long hair a little bitch. This is our taxi, your mate Steve is arguing. Your mate Steve needs to be careful, he says, because of his conviction.

Your mate Steve is arguing with the taxi driver. Your mate Steve wants the radio louder. Your mate Steve doesn’t like this pussy guitar shit. The fare is too expensive, your mate Steve complains. Your mate Steve opens the taxi door. Your mate Steve is no longer there. Your mate Steve is on the floor, holding his side. Your mate Steve is shouting about child locks and lawsuits. Your mate Steve will only get up in the taxi fare is struck off.

Your mate Steve is pissing in your mum’s petunias. Your mate Steve asks if your sister’s in. Your sister has blow jobs lips, your mate Steve enthuses. Your mate Steve has chundered on his Ed Hardy jeans and on your rug. Your mate Steve promises to buy you another one if it’s under £100.

Your mate Steve has gone when you wake up. Your mate Steve has borrowed a pair of your jeans. Your mate Steve has left you an IOU. This is your mate Steve all over.

Animals In Foxcatcher

Last night I went to watch Foxcatcher, and it was really fucking good. I was surprised to find my boyfriend was the only male at the screening – I think there were a few giggly ladies just waiting to see a glimpse of that man candy. I get it – I also go to see every movie Steve Carell is in. But Foxcatcher has intrigued me for a while now, and despite knowing how it all goes down in the end, I was still so excited to see how it played out. Before I continue, I think it’s probably quite important to say that there are major spoilers  in this. Okay? So now I can’t be held responsible for you being angry all day. In the reviews I’ve read for the film, there’s a lot of praise for Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo, but not much for Channing Tatum. Carell is brilliant, you can’t deny it. He exudes an uncomfortable energy that is so palpable, even in scenes in which he is just in the background. Mark Ruffalo plays the nice guy, which he does very well. But Tatum is underrated. I remember watching Step Up five years ago and thinking that that guy was going nowhere. But Tatum has exercised his dramatic chops, and he’s done enormously well since to escape that awful film which is also my guilty pleasure. Something I noticed almost immediately in Bennett Miller’s creation is how integral the theme of animals is to the story. There are obvious notations like the taxidermy looming over rooms in du Pont’s house, or his mother’s prize winning horses. But the implication runs far deeper than this. For example, Channing Tatum plays Mark Schultz, a pro wrestler who finds it hard to express his emotions in words. At the beginning of the film, we see him sparring with his brother Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo). Their emotions are shown through the way the tussle, rather than through talking. They are ape-like (something Mark is actually called later in the film) in the way they express themselves. The way they grab each other round the neck is ape-like. Anger for Mark comes in the form of a head butt and happiness shown through a rough, haphazard hug. Their natural stance is the same: top-heavy and hunched with a stiff tread, arms poised as if ready for attack. They rut on the mat like two stags, fighting for respect. channing tatum In his relationship with John du Pont, however, Mark is the dog – the trusty companion whom du Pont pays to be “man’s best friend”. He tells Mark that as a child, his mother paid another boy to be his friend, which is a moment he essentially recreates with Mark, but under a different guise. As Mark accepts du Pont’s money to become coach and wrestler in a team destined for Olympic greatness, he immediately becomes a servant to du Pont’s needs. At one point, du Pont even orders Mark to “stay,” which he obliges. Du Pont insists that Mark calls him “Eagle,” or “Golden Eagle,” – an emblem of American greatness, cementing further du Pont’s stifling idea of patriotism – in just one of several points of comical absurdity. Mark agrees, but even he finds it hard to suppress a smile at the strangeness of his request.

steve-carell-is-unrecognisable-in-first-image-from-foxcatcher-143170-a-1377071676-470-75-steve-carell-is-unrecognizable-in-new-foxcatcher-t

Of course, once you see Carell’s transformation, it’s so easy to see the bird-like resemblance. But through his actions he replicates those of an eagle. He circles the team in practice like they’re prey. Du Pont’s point of view is often voyeuristic; watching Mark running through the grounds from the window in a solitary room in his house, or surveying Mark and Dave from the back bench at a match. (On the subject of birds, it is also interesting to note that du Pont is a keen birdwatcher, and gives Mark a book that he wrote on birdwatching. Mark is told to stay away from du Pont’s mother, so when he spots her tending to her prize-winning horses, he watches her through binoculars for a moment, like she herself is a rare bird.) If the wrestling team is a pack of dogs, then their prized possession, their fox to catch, is the world championships. But there is a struggle for power, a struggle for top-dog status. Mark is initially in charge of the team, but du Pont replaces him with Dave when he finds Mark inadequate, which upsets him. Du Pont considers himself a coach and mentor to all, on par with Dave’s abilities as head coach, but he is merely a benefactor to the operation. His desire to be in the wolf pack alienates him further. Ultimately du Pont finds he cannot manipulate everything using his fortune, and so he shoots Dave, like a dog in the snow. Foxcatcher gun The story was so bleak and depressing, but it was so beautifully shot. Everything was expressed so perfectly and a lot of thought had obviously gone into bringing out meaning in every scene. Totally recommend it if you can keep the image of Michael Scott out of your head.

A Dapper Update

ITV2 cancelled Dapper Laughs on the Pull around a week ago, and I know I’m a bit late to the party but I just had to write about it. Because how could I not?

According to Daniel O’Reilly, his now infamous character is DEAD. Did he drown in clunge? He fackin’ wishes!

Yes, Dapper is done. He is no more. Gone – POOF – just like that, leaving behind nothing but a long coil of condoms and the distant sting of Pacco Rabanne in the nostrils. And who should rise from the ashes but a wistful, self-pitying O’Reilly, obviously in mourning if the weird black ensemble he put together for his interview on Newsnight is anything to go by:

Dressed like an Beatnik, O’Reilly spoke with Emily Maitlis about how Dapper Laughs is not in fact an extension of himself like we all thought, but totally and completely made up, and we must be stoopid or summink for believing him. He basically says “This here, me, I’m the real Daniel O’Reilly. I’m real. Back then, with Dapper Laughs, that was all acting. Aaaall acting. That casual misogyny and crude humour? Disgusts me. Disgusting. Bleurgh, sexism. But I had you all convinced, didn’t I! Ha!”

Sat there in his turtleneck and looking like he’s about to procure a large Rioja and cheeseboard from underneath his chair, I was very surprised that the old “Social Experiment” excuse didn’t come tumbling out of his mouth. Because who hasn’t used that as a get-out-of jail-free card (literally) recently? But instead he drops the bombshell that he was acting all along. Whuuuut!

dapper hands up

Take notes, Daniel Day-Lewis, because this is how you really, really go method. O’Reilly was acting hard. He acted so hard that no one could tell the difference between him and his character. So very hard, in fact, that for a while he obviously couldn’t tell either.

And my God, he has suffered for his art. Y’see, when he made jokes that reduces women to “fannies” and “tits” what we didn’t see was O’Reilly at home later that evening, staring out of his rainy window into the darkness, deep in the throes of an existential crisis. And when he said that a female audience member was “gagging for a rape” at one of his gigs, the only thing that was proper moist that night was his pillow as he cried himself to sleep.

But let’s take a moment to appreciate the real star of this interview: Emily Maitlis. Because she is both a pro and a goddess. Maitlis schooled O’Reilly good. She made him look like a right plonker! Watching him squirm as she read his own embarrassing words back to him was a beautiful thing to watch. My favourite part was when Dapper – oop, I mean Daniel – said that this whole saga had ruined his life, and she asked: “So you’re feeling like a bit of a victim now, are you?” WITHOUT LAUGHING. Her poker face is so strong and beautiful and majestic. Oh Maitlis, you sassy dream, you.

1415787579493_wps_6_Dapper_Laughs_on_Newsnigh

But hey, acting or not, we’re safe in the knowledge that Dapper Laughs is no more. Women are free to walk the streets once again without having “she knows” shouted in their face for no apparent reason. We have shown that we will not stand for being the punchline of a joke that we alone are excluded from. Thanks guys and girls, I’m proud of us. Dapper’s fifteen minutes of fame is finally over. Probably should’ve just stuck to the six seconds, ey.

Kim Kardashian Broke My Internet

kimmemes13f-1-web

I am unsure why seeing Kim Kardashian in her nuddiepants has caused such a fuss when most internet users and celebrity porn enthusiasts have already seen her naked in her home movie with Ray J. I recognised her just from her nipples, and I’m still unsure where or when I saw the film. I just know that I have – once on purpose, several times reluctantly.

Whilst KK-West’s pictures have caused a couple problems for me – for example, because her bottom so closely resembles a pillow that you wrap around your neck on an early morning flight to Singapore, every time it pops up on my newsfeed at work it I get super sleepy – they have actually given me much more joy that I expected.

Firstly, it appeals to my creative side. I created a new game that I like to call “Catch the Kardashian.” The main gist of it involves an oily Kim running through a large group of people, and whoever manages to catch her wins a packet of Starburst.

Secondly, my internet at home is actually already broken, so Kim’s aim of “breaking the internet” could potentially work out quite well for me. I’m hoping the following email to Virgin will sufficiently sort the problem:

To whom it may concern,

My internet is currently down, and I have a sneaking suspicion as to why. As you may know, Kim Kardashian set out to break the internet this week and I think she has succeeded in her claim. I think this is the real reason I can’t get online, and not because I tripped over my modem running across the living room so I could scare my boyfriend from behind the door. So if you could come and fix it at your earliest convenience, it would be greatly appreciated. You can send the bill to:

Kim Kardashian West,

The Kardashian Residence,

That Expensive Part of Hollywood,

‘Merica

Kind regards,

Pascale (Day)

I am still awaiting a reply.

I am FAMOUS

So basically, as the title would suggest, I am now famous.

I have achieved notoriety on a major scale. I’ve reached dizzying new heights of stardom, and I am never coming back.

And no, it’s not because of my new article on Hello Giggles (which you can read here.) (And yes, I have been waiting for any excuse to get that into a post.)

A little while ago, I was getting a lot of traffic referrals from Smosh. When I finally decided to find out what all the fuss was about, I discovered that a picture of me had been included on this flattering list:

smosh

I’m officially classed as an ugly sneezer. So at least that’s one of life’s most important questions answered in one of the most public ways possible.

And if that wasn’t cool enough, in the comments people began discussing if I, “Picture Three”, could be considered attractive. Me! And my stupid hair and stupid face! Many people said no, that I was not. That I was an insignia of superficial and cosmetic conformity in teenage girls of the 21st Century. Just cos I gone done my hair all silly.

1

5

3

I’m in my mid-twenties, IamApie69. I pay bills and watch Panorama. I don’t even do shots on a night out anymore, man. I’m a proper grown up.

Some said I was singing, and this person claimed that I was their next door neighbour in Australia, and that I sneeze all the time:

4

They are obviously trying to jump on my glitzy, fame-laden, diamonte-encrusted bandwagon, because I can confirm that I neither live in Australia nor sneeze all that much.

You know you’ve made it when people start arguing over whether you’re ugly or not. I only wish I could show all my haters (Haters! ME!) what I looked like a mere hour after that photo was taken,  when my cold really set in:

COLD

And the argument would be settled: I am beautiful.

Dapper Laughs: Television’s Biggest Tosspot

dapper

Do you like Dapper Laughs? Because I don’t. I really, really don’t. Is that because I’m frigid or a virgin or summink? No, it’s because I prefer my jokes without a side of blatant misogyny. I also like them to be funny.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you can google him, or find one of his Vines spunked over the LAD Bible Facebook page. Dapper Laugh’s brand of comedy is reserved for fans of Bernard Manning, Jim Davidson, necking ten Jagerbombs in ten seconds, spitting, Madeline McCann jokes, peer pressure, Wetherspoons, bullying, circle jerks, shouting at women from vans, misspelt tweets and attaching mirrors to the tops of shoes before a night out.

Dapper – AKA Daniel O’Reilly – has a new TV show. Dapper Laughs on the Pull premiered on ITV2, a channel reserved specifically for teenagers to laugh at Keith Lemon and wank over Kelly Brook simultaneously. So in case 6 seconds of offensive shit wasn’t enough for you, you can now enjoy another 29 minutes and 54 seconds of his brand of bullying that masquerades as banter.

O’Reilly is not funny. He’s that guy you went to school with who was popular simply because he was louder and more obnoxious than everyone else. People laughed at his jokes because to not laugh would be way more hassle than it’s worth. Plus, it was rumoured that he’d had sex with an older woman at a weirdly young age so therefore was a messiah to those still wanking into a sock at night. He is presented as a comedian but he has nothing to say, and so to call him such seems insulting to real comedians who hone their craft for years, creating routines and jokes that are actually clever.

Because it’s common knowledge that real comedians work notoriously hard. Then along comes Dapper, with a fistful of sexist quips, homophobic jibes and minstrelsy impressions, and is immediately handed a TV show and tour. A brief glimpse of his tour on Youtube reveals an hour or so of stand up with no routine, no structure, but rather just an exercise in pointing at the audience and taking the piss out of hairstyles, body types and spouses, and the audience reacting, hysterically – “my girlfriend really IS fat and ugly! AHAHAHA!” – before chugging down the rest of their Blue WKDs and throwing the bottles on the floor for someone else to clear up.

I watched some of Dapper Laughs on the Pull, enough to get a gist of how it works: Ricky was unlucky in love; he was uncomfortable in his own skin. Dapper Laughs comes along and VOILA! Ricky changed from a shy, awkwardly funny guy into an utter twat, complete with fake tan and your mum jokes. Huzzah! Now he doesn’t even need a girlfriend – he’s practically drowning in clunge! OI OI!

This is my problem. It’s the juvenile, misinformed sense of humour that reduces women to nothing more than tits and ass and holes that need penetrating. It seems we’re lumped into two categories: Girls That Would Get It and Munters That Wouldn’t. Dying to know which category you’re in? Well don’t worry, ‘cos he’ll fuckin’ tell ya!

He perpetuates that aggressive sexism that should be dead and buried with Bernard Manning. These days we have great feminists to look up to: Lena Dunham, Emma Watson, Beyonce. And of course feminism isn’t a women-only club. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe are with us, to name just two (more here). And there are so many male comedians who aren’t touting sexism as part of their routine (i.e. all the funny ones). We should be providing a platform for more people with a progressive, humanist view of the world, rather than pushing this outdated, monochromatic view on gender roles through a TV channel aimed at today’s youth. Because that’s what it is – an outdated ideal in a leather jacket with his balls doused in Lynx Africa.

I’m being dramatic. By rebuking him I am now the kind of woman men like Dapper hate even more. The kind of man that simulates copulation behind your back to his mates as you stand there, unsuspecting, at the bar. The guy that passes casual misogyny off as playful banter, and makes you look like a spoilsport for not agreeing with it. Yes, us women are a prudish breed and probably just need a good shagging. Get back in the kitchen – men talking.

I dislike the guy. He’s shitting all over my glass ceiling. He’s making it acceptable for men to pinch my arse and give my tits a rating, all in the name of “banter”, and that’s not okay.

That’s just how I feel. But what would I know – I’m just a woman.

The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off.

Am I right?!

I was only interested when I heard about Bingate (I wanted to call it BakedAlaskaGate but my boyf tells me that it “doesn’t flow properly”. Fuck it, what does he know? I’m the one who did English stuff at university so I know how to speak things gooder than him anyways).

I had heard that the British Bake Off was a rather tame affair. I don’t like my TV too tame, but I also don’t like it with too much drama. I like to think of myself as a reasonably stoic person: I don’t like crying in front of people, I don’t like public declarations of love and I’m not a massive fan of hugging. So I don’t go in for things like Hell’s Kitchen or Masterchef because I can’t handle amateur chefs falling to their knees and poking their eyes out with corn cob skewers because their soufflé hasn’t risen properly. But GBBO seemed a little dull to me. Sure you made meringue, but who did you sabotage to make it so chewy?

You see my dilemma.

That’s why I was so intrigued by BakedAlaskaGate. This year it was still the nice show that everyone loved, but now it was lightly seasoned with scandal. How dare that old lady take that bearded guy’s Baked Alaska out the freezer before it needed to come out! I have never seen anyone’s face go so red! He looked like a freshly plucked radish with a beard. Soon after, Diana – whose last name is weirdly Beard – left the programme, which was a shame because I would have liked her to be GBBO’s pantomime villain, surviving solely on a diet of vanilla bean custard and mean tweets.

Instead we have to settle for Paul Hollywood, AKA the creepiest lookin’ guy on the BBC. Yeah, he’s the one who, under “Hobbies” on his CV, only lists two things: ‘criticising flan bases’ and ‘sniffing panties’.  His too blue eyes and gelled hair and groomed goatee all point to him probably being a retired porn star, which is a strange pairing with Mary Berry, who my boyfriend and I deduced looks like a leather sack filled with cats, controlling her Weekend at Bernie’s style in order to get some cream.

Last week was éclair making. And as uncomfortable as I felt watching Mary guzzling a cream-crammed chocolate éclair into her tiny pie hole, I did actually enjoy the episode. Although it was sad to see Tracey Ann Oberman leave, even though everything she baked was a bit pants. I was relieved that Minty from Eastenders was still in, thank god for his peanut butter masterpieces.

kate_1 luis

I like Chetna best. She has cool salt n pepper hair and she wears nice cardigans and chunky wooden necklaces. She looks like she smells like patchouli and incense. And she made some shit hot éclairs, which I would totally eat regardless of my gluten intolerance. And when I was all big and puffy and sucking custard off of each pudgy fingertip I would shout through a mouthful of choux pastry “I REGRET NOTHING” and it would be totally true.

There’s one thing that scares me, though. Martha. Whuut is with that girl? I want to like her: she seems pretty nice, she’s polite, and I read she owns a cute labradoodle! But she scares me a little. She looks like a haunted Victorian doll; the type you find after a house fire perfectly preserved even though the room it was in was engulfed in flames. Still got those glassy eyes. Still got that terrifyingly sweet smile. But shit, I’d eat all her éclairs too, I just wouldn’t look directly at her whilst doing so.

martha_2998592a

 

A Letter to New Look

Dear New Look,

Hey. Hi there, buddy. So this weekend I fell over in a pair of your shoes. Now I know what you’re thinking: if I’m going to wear silly shoes like this…

shoes1

…It’s my own fault if I fall over. I agree with you. Nothing makes me more apprehensive than seeing a gaggle of girls tottering around in what is essentially a glorified and more dangerous version of bucket stilts, waiting to see which one pounds  the pavement first. However, you will be surprised to hear that I was not wearing those shoes, but these:

shoooooos

DO THESE LOOK SILLY TO YOU?

I’m not angry. Just hurt. Really, really hurt. You need to put a warning on your flat shoes. Maybe just let people that you don’t grip the bottom. Let people know the soles appear to be coated in Nickelodeon slime. Just pop a little note inside the shoe that says ‘WARNING: These shoes are not suitable for people who plan on running round corners.’

Because that’s what I was doing. I was running round a corner when my agility failed me once again. I slipped and hit every single pointy bit on the left side of my body including my elbow, knee, ankle and a little bone that sticks out in my hand.

So basically my ankle has been reduced to a sock-full of dust where my bones used to be. It’s pretty gruesome, so there’s no need for a picture. The nurse said it would be harder to put back together than the Battle of Trafalgar jigsaw puzzle she’s been working on. That is a true story. Don’t look any further into that though because it’s definitely true, and you can take my word for it. I’m a very trustworthy person, and that’s not coming from me, that’s just what my friends say. They call me Pascale “Trustworthy” Day, and you can trust them too because most of them have degrees. So let’s not bring up the need for evidence because it’s really not necessary, trust me (because you can).

Instead, here is a picture of my hand, which I also hit pretty hard on the way down.

IMG_3108 As you can see, it’s covered with a plaster, and underneath that plaster is another plaster, because I can’t get the first plaster off. It has fused to the scab that is currently forming and will probably be a part of me forever. I’ve also got a booboo on my knee which is very stingy :(.

And before you ask no, I don’t need a Wah-mbulance. I was already in hospital at the crack of dawn this morning to try and get me some crutches. Because I need them to get to work, not because I want to guarantee myself a seat on the train. (That’s another very true fact. You can trust me, remember?). They didn’t give me any, but it was okay because my boyfriend and I got to use my wheelchair to do some suweeeet donuts in the car park which made the excursion totally worth it.

I’ve always thought very highly of you, NL. I’ve always had your back. Even when my friends said that your clothes lose their shape too easily and that all your white tops always have foundation marks around the neck. I say “Nah, they’re alright”. Even when one friend said “Their shoes are festooned death-traps,” well, I didn’t disagree, but the important thing is I didn’t agree either. (I can’t tell you who my friend is because Kate would kill me. (Kate Smith.))

But could I say the same now…………..?

We’re both adults here, New Look. I’m not a monster, and I know you aren’t either. SO GIVE ME WHAT I WANT AND I WON’T SQUEAL:

  • One day’s pay for the sick day I have taken
  • My dignity restored
  • The four hours I spent watching Skins on Netflix back
  • A pair of socks that will fit over my cankle
  • Eventually a new ankle
  • Maybe a new hand – only time will tell
  • Let me be your fashion model for next season – I’m really good at breathing in and I look swell in a chunky knit I promise

Think it over. Get back to me. I hope we can sort this shit out.

Your Compadre,
Pascale Trustworthy Day

But Oh, To Be Free.

Today, I found out that Robin Williams had died. And I honestly could not be more bummed about it.

As a nineties baby, I was too young for Mork and Mindy, but was of course very familiar with his family films – perhaps too familiar: my Mrs Doubtfire VHS tape was so worn that in the end I could barely even sing along to “Dude Looks Like A Lady”. As a child I would do various Robin Williams impressions that were spontaneous but frequent and, as to be expected, I was very unpopular. I concluded that the only person who can do Robin Williams impressions is Robin Williams.

I was so shocked. I remember where I was when Michael Jackson had died, and Diana; the two most prolific celebrity deaths of my lifetime. With MJ, I was in a pub when a Mexican wave of gasps spread through the room of blustering drinkers. I knew that this was another one of those moments. But it was somehow different, somehow bigger, and it felt so much worse. Obviously no death has precedence over another – a life is a life after all. But this hit me hard. Trying to pass a few stray tears off as bleary-eyed tiredness, I realised this was the saddest I had ever felt over the death of someone I didn’t know. I was genuinely devastated. I found myself doing solemn hotdog impressions to everyone I had contact with for the rest of the day. A lady in Starbucks thought I was having a stroke.

I think it’s because he reminded me of my dad. I’m sure he reminded a lot of people of their dads. Williams was a big, hairy, feverish ball of energy. He was a shape shifter, jumping franticly from comedy to drama to thriller and back again with such ease.

What we failed to notice was the darkness that was surrounding him. Or rather, just how close it loomed in recent years. His lifelong demons were public knowledge and very occasionally we captured rare glimpses that there may have been something wrong, which are more informed with hindsight. It is terribly sad and, as always with mental health and addiction, it is misunderstood.

I have young, vague and unwanted recollections of seeing depression and an ongoing view into addiction that never ceases to be heartbreaking and infuriating all at once. It is crippling for everyone involved, and sometimes there’s no solution: sometimes therapy just doesn’t work. Narrow-minded people will blame Williams for his “selfish” addiction and, subsequently, his “selfish” death. But those people are wrong, and severely misinformed, and have a very two dimensional view of this situation. Both depression and addiction are sly and sneaky illnesses. They circle the confines of your mind; they feed of off fear and sadness and anxiety, getting bigger and stronger and, ultimately, they know the right time to pounce. Both change you into a person you don’t know or recognise. But as someone who has seen addiction up close, I know that it does not make you a bad person. Addiction takes you away, and replaces you with one of the most dangerous versions of yourself. But it’s not really you.

I obviously did not know Robin Williams – I doubt many people really did. His experiences of these things are probably very different to what I know of it. Depression and addiction come in all shapes and sizes. To me, it seems insane for people to comment on the circumstances of his death without really knowing anything about it. Which is why I’m inclined to say that everyone should focus on his life, rather than his death, like his widow Susan Schneider asked from his fans this morning.

So whether it’s having a food fight, rolling a five or an eight, setting your tits on fire (don’t set your tits on fire), farting in a tin, putting your face in a cake, going to see about a girl or sounding a barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world, do whatever you want to remember the man that changed the world of comedy for the better. When I think of Robin Williams, I think of an awesome childhood. I hope that wherever he is now, he is happy. O Captain, my Captain.

Robin_Williams-Esquire

The Day Queen Shattered My Dreams

On Wednesday afternoon I received a fantastic piece of news. I was told that the rock band Queen were going to be officially opening the new, improved and unashamedly sexy Reading train station on Thursday morning. So, as a BIG Queen fan and an even BIGGER John Deacon fan (Freddie who?!?! Am I right or am I right? (I am right)), I decided to run down to the station the following morning in the hopes of seeing them perform a few of the classics. As I stood in the 30 degree heat for 45 minutes next to a child that insisted on throwing his half-full Ribena carton repeatedly at my head, it became obvious that the band were a no show. I was as upset as the kid; I was throwing metaphorical juice boxes at everyone’s head. Then, just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, an elderly lady appeared in the space reserved for my favourite band. Everyone was staring. I could feel the frustration of the crowd as she began bumbling around, and I took it upon myself to speak up on behalf of the people of Reading. I shouted to the OAP “HEY LADY, GET OUT OF THE WAY WE’RE WAITING FOR QUEEN”, and at first I don’t think she could hear me, but after the third time she was helped into her vehicle by a nice, well dressed chap, probably from her nursing home, and driven away. A disappointing day overall.

The old lady

The crazy old coot