Bolo’s back alright

Curse all hackers, malingerers from spam land and crazed purveyors of herbal ecstasy, weaving their convoluted and largely automated way across internet land. Bolo, already stricken by the busyness of its staple contributors was contaminated by people looking to fill the site with links to cheerleader websites, credit card phish nonsense and shovel loads of monkey dust.

Its apprehensive and occasionally proud father, I attempted to save it, clearing out the worst of the filth and keeping an eye on the bandwidth, watching for spikes of viewing caused by security breaches, but they came too thick and fast. Too many weasels in this world these days and not enough time outside of the credit crunch design company late night, rinseout hours to put pen to paper, to tap fingers on keys.

So it went, but now its back. Shielded by the finest in plumbait protection, anti-perspirant of the spam jacker variety and a shot of methedrine in the praxial nerve. Temporarily without design template, but exact and still resounding in words, ideas and thoughtless Saturday night rib breakings. Cast up, hear ye me hearteys as Captain Haddock no doubt never said, rolling up your sleeves for a brand new month, the end of an insipient year and the last shadows of twenties zeitgeist with better trainers, but far too few remaining brain cells.

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Drinking yourself unconscious

McGrooverDrunk myself unconscious Friday night. This came as something of a surprise, given that as far as I was aware of it, I had no plans for such foolishness. Heading out to a wedding that I had no real stake or interest in, slightly confused by the invite itself and a little out of sorts to be clad in a suit and a crisp pink shirt and tie, I figured a couple of beers, a few conversations, then slink off back into the night to concentrate on resting up from a tough week.

I woke Saturday feeling fresh, but something was clearly wrong. For one thing I wasn’t in bed I was on the sofa downstairs. Oh well, nothing too strange about that, stairs can be a challenge if you stay up late at night, but why was I wearing swimming trunks and a bright yellow tshirt?

Rompost’s head peered around the door. ‘Oh you’re alive then?’
I nodded, still feeling cheerful, but slightly bemused and I shut my eyes. One of those maybe if I don’t get up to face this, it will go away feelings, but no, when I opened them again I was still wearing the swimming trunks and rolling over I could clearly make out the distinctive patterning of drops of stomach contents on the floor.

I jumped up, the room spinning, legged it upstairs to the bathroom to find my suit trousers soaking in the sink, my jacket in the kitchen sink, my pink shirt in a crumpled and brown heap outside the door. What was the meaning of these harbingers of doom?

Hmm the meaning was clear. Something was awry, but what had happened. I cast my mind back, remembered the early part of the evening, sipping of pints and spouting of small talk. No food and drink hitting the empty stomach. I remembered witnessing the shared embarassment of the first dance, remembered a bit more shouting with old acquaintances about this and that, remembered having some trouble with my words, but where had that come from?

A sudden memory, Rompost returning from the bar, maniacal glee on his face proferring out the first small glass of fine single malt. A name: Glenfiddich. More memories, in the bar demanding more of this stuff from our new best friend: A chinese barman of impeccable decorum and drinks bringing ability.

Memories of chatting to a sprightly 94 year old, Lurcho’s Grandad about the joys of caravaning, the difficulties of sailing, the cruise life. Monaco, travel the wonders of a beautiful women. Were there women there? Certainly some swimming in Pink Linen, but too far past that now, barmen bring me another Glenfiddich, drinks for Crimpino and Rompost harranguing someone with a beard at the bar. “What you up to Terry Waite?” Amazingly the man likes his new moniker, we begin drinking with Terry. Lets have a drinking contest you bearded weirdo, and Waitester buys up a round of Amarettos….. Back at the bar fumbling with my pin number, struggling with 3 syllable names of drinks and paying careful attention on the stairs outside. After that nothing….

Ah, now it makes sense, spirits rinseout. The drinks I pretty much banned since Uni because of their unique ability to take away my rhyme and reason. I am a strong drinker, but not in any useful sense: I get pissed as fast as the next man, but where they fall off, somewhere around the six pint mark (if we’re being honest), I can keep going. I can drink till I don’t know who I am. Till I’m mad dog drunk, incapable of speech, incapable of movement beyond drink spilling, shouting. I can really drink. I can drink till the cows come home, but I can’t drink like Rompost, it leads to disaster.

Anyway, in the event, I think I was lucky Friday. Preliminary reports to fill my memory blanks suggest limited debris causing. No fighting with the groom or setting the curtains on fire. Instead, I slurred my way to incompetence before falling unconscious on a table a little before our cab was due to arrive. Sleeping the journey home I could not be awakened at the other end, stacking out of the taxi to bang my head on the floor and then fireman’s lifted by Rompost, by this time lost in his own world of cleavage obsession and antagonising friends. “No, no leave me on the floor out here”. This concrete drive is my new home. These snails and the cracks in the pavements are my friends and the reassuring feel of cool stone on my forehead.

Inside and Prov’s attempts to rouse me with a sustained burst of loud drum and bass were effective. At least enough to reactivate organs, which in all sense finally declared fuck this for a game of soldiers. Lets get rid of this poison. Lets deposit these finely aged spirits on our finely tailored clothes. Death or victory!

Right, so that explained things and all things considered I didn’t feel too bad. Still drunk for much of yesterday and out to buy carpet cleaner. The self service machine rattling that ‘there is an incorrect item in the bagging area’. God that hurts my brain, only answer to hit it with my right fist, throw coins at the next machine in line and storm out clutching my carpet cleaner under the arm.

Well, what conclusions can we draw from this sordid tale? Spent parts of yesterday trying to work out if there was an underlying reason for me wanting to drink myself stupid, but coming up short. Maybe there are no reasons. Maybe as Rompost suggested ‘you think too much, you drink too much, you are just a fiend!’. Hmm maybe, a lesson once again that I am not indestructible. That too much drink makes a beast of us and that self-restraint where it comes to chemicals and inebriants has never been one of my hallmarks.

But weird though, walking down to the station, the hangover kicking in and the ipod up loud enough to drown out the brain hum, I am hit with a wave of euphoria. I am still alive and what a thing that is. My hands and legs move as they are supposed to, the road moves under my feet and my plans take shape dimly upon the horizon. Things in my life are great, I have luck on my side and if I can just hold that thought for long enough, maybe I can get down to Balham rest this damn aching, bruised up head and emerge like Lazarus, a man reborn, half drunk, half-sober, who wouldn’t have it any other way, but still, my suit is most probably ruined.

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Bus Mutterings

I was on the bus with a colleague this morning. She’s just got back from a holiday in Krakow, Poland. The usual what did you get up to conversation ensued. Nothing to wake me from my bus dozy bus reverie, one ear on the tunes, oneear sacrificed to reality, until the conversation took an unexpected turn. It turns out her Dad spent quite a lot of time in markets, buying, from what I understand, a large collection of “cool” nazi paraphanelia, like letter openers and medals. This woke me up a bit and I couldn’t mask my shocked disdain for this weirdness. For the first time I was really in the conversation, rather than playing the part of good listener. “Why?” I asked, when I was told that the Welsh father had seriously considered paying 300 notes for a bar of Jewbone soap, or some equally repulsive item that any proud father of twin girls simply “must have”. The answer cleared everything up nicely; “Because it’s history, it’s GOOOOOD!”. I think I just nodded.

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Like many people right now watching the tennis and surprising myself by rather enjoying it. However, what I am not enjoying is the crowd, extracted from the bowels of some god awful school in Godalming for a day of Pimms and strawberries, half crazed on teen lust for mop haired automaton tennis players who clench their fists on hitting an occasional good shot. Now, I’m all for a little bit of patriotism (well maybe not that much), but the roars of approval on the sight of the British opponent cack handedly smashing the ball into the net or double-faulting on every single point they lose seem a touch harsh. This is not a Take That concert you bunch of mongs!

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The King of Queen St

For those of you keen to keep up to date with the progress of the King of Queen Street, I suggest you look at this. However, probably best to avoid sending him a maniacal note of rabid congratulations through the listed email (as I did), as this goes to pretty much his whole company.

Other than that, ashamed by my lack of input into Bolo of late. Suffice to say that the walls of intense work, house buying and general rinsed out late night, screen burn came firmly up and put paid to my efforts for a while. Hopefully now that I’m back from Berlin with some renewed energy formed from a mixture of break from computers, spending time with my ladyfriend and hareing it about in a giant skandinavian convertible, we should see a continuation of some form of no doubt hair-brained normal service. Peace to the brethren.

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One to remember

When your wo/man says to you “don’t you remember what we talked about?”, the chances are you won’t and that the argument is already lost…

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Things you shouldn’t say at work

My office is turning into a Menopausal war zone. I am the only bloke. Today, the 4/5ths of female contingent of the office were enjoying their only shared past time – BITCHING about someone who is not there.
Office bint 1 : “Did you see the flocking dress that Karine on reception was wearing today?! She looks like a chess board!”
This got the chortling juices flowing nicely, and you could almost feel the discomfort fading from the office as common ground was briefly underfoot. I can’t keep my mouth shut at the moment though, and any opportunity for controversy seems to make me chirp up.
“Yeah but chess is a complex game, and I reckon Karine’s only capable of 3, 4 moves at a push….”
This met with uncomfortable laughter, which bizarrely gladdened me. I think, in terms of the group psychology of this beast, I am actually trying to become their scapegoat. It would be a charitable act for many innocent bystanders and perhaps goad me into the conflict I occasionally wish for….or maybe it’s a holiday I need? You know that. It’s coming, well a long weekend anyway. A mate arrives on Saturday for a long weekend of city skulking, pool playing and random excursions. Anyway, apologies for this dear diary style ranting. I’m offski.

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Supermarket headnoise

It’s been a dark time in this corner of Boloville. I took my dark mood monkey shopping with me tonight – thought he could use a change of scene (secretly I was hoping he’d jump onto someone else’s shoulder, but don’t tell him that). Anyway, it was the usual shit, pushing the trolley, avoiding as best I could the slow walking plum baits, the elderly and the deranged Amsterdam Maximator drinkers (13%, tastes like bananas, melts your brain fibres). My head was moaning like an impatient child, chiding me for the mundane landscape I was forcing upon it, when this guy asks for my help. He had a one item list, it read “com potte cannette”. Literally this means “like a friend, can”, as the list was obviously written by someone with mental issues or a meths drinker, but clearly it should have read “compotte cannette” (apple puree in a can) because the dude was brandishing a massive pot of apple puree and asking me to confirm that he had made a successful find.

Suddenly I feel like a total arse for ever having sheltered this foul smelling monkey at all. I mean, even if the worst comes to the worst, I should currently be glad of my ability to read and write, which does have the added benefit of avoiding my shopping trips becoming like a trip to an ancient Egyptian town where everything is labeled in hieroglyphics.

Here’s to a minor victory in the daily battle to maintain perspective. I’m off to do something worthwhile, like teaching dogs to read or re-educating house-trained midgets.

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Two toff guys chatting at the wash basin while I’m draining the weasel:

“You see that’s the difference between us. I was taught at Harrow to wash my hands.”

“Quite right dear chap, but then of course I was taught at Eton not to piss all over myself.”

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The customer always has the right to be bludgeoned with a verbal kosh

I had a mate staying this weekend and hungover on Sunday we had an odd urge to go and check out some art. This worked out well, as I was sure that galeries and the likes were free on the first sunday of every month. Something they call “les dimanches de patrimoine”. Anyway, my mate had heard tell of some Matisse, Rembrandt and possibly Jean Michel Jarre on offer so we sauntered down to the local mairie which has a couple of galleries. The conversation waiting for me inside proved to be a very sobering affair. It went something like this (bearing in mind that French is normally a lot more formal and polite between strangers than English):

Me : “Hello, good day Madam.”
Museum “receptionist” : “Hello, is it to see the exhibition?”
“Yes, please. Am I right in thinking galeries are still free on the first Sunday of every month?”
“I’m sorry, I thought that-”
“Yes, I understand. How long has-”
“Since when?”
“I understand you perfectly well. How long has it been?”
It was all I could do to break eye contact and keep my feet on the floor. I’m a fairly reasonable person, but on occasion it seems that world is conspiring to make me do a Michael Douglas.

I went in with a relaxed, very manageable, slight hangover, but by the time this little rottweiler of a skank whore had finished her lyrical bludgeoning, I was primed for the kill. We did do one of the galeries, but I found myself half looking at depressing dutch landscapes and mainly the urge to go back and ask her why, if she hated mankind so very much, she insisted on inflicting her vile self on the world instead of just OD’ing on her own sense of superiority. It’s alright though. I have my revenge sussed.

1 phone call, every Sunday, at the same time every week, for the rest of her working life:

“Hello, I need some information please. I was just wondering, I’ve heard about these “journées du patrimoine”…..”

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Near escapes in a small economical broken car

Clio macroSpent a bit of time this week driving around the unfamiliar land of South London. Sometimes aided and frequently hampered by the presence of a TomTom shouting skewed directions about bearing left and advising illegal manoeuvres and the avoidance of invisible speed cameras.

Driving in London is a considerable challenge these days due to the need to skip in and out of lanes as you come round a corner and somehow find yourself in a bus lane, risking a massive fine or castration or both.

Ah well, we have the Mayor to thank for that and of course now is the time to pick the new one. This is no easy choice given on the one hand we have Red Ken, two terms in and half mad on government subsidies and low congestion policies in the one corner and on the other, wearing a blue handkerchief on his head, Boris the buffoon, capering about like a cat with rabies.

Paddick may still be hovering somewhere about the fringes. I can’t remember and although I have a soft spot for the chap due to his role in the ill-fated Lambeth experiment, somehow I don’t see myself voting for him. No, I feel a spoiled ballot coming on.

The chance to do this has come from the Conservatives. For reasons unknown to myself I seem to have managed to get removed from the electoral roll, but fortunately the beady eyed researchers at Tory HQ have observed this and sent me all of the required forms to remedy the problem. The only flaw in their plan is of course that I won’t be voting Conservative.

Anyway, all that was the last thing on my mind as I bopped about London in the Clio, a week past its MOT and making ominous noises as I drove around corners. Quick heel toe movements and remembering to push down hard on the brakes when the traffic moves again from 2nd to 1st gear. Staying safe and avoiding having to explain to some angry Camberwell resident that you crashed into the side of their vehicle because you were shouting about the Olympics and failing to realise that your wheels had fallen off.

Still, as a wise man once said, it is not the destination that is important it is the journey and indeed, this was important wisdom for me to consider on Saturday as I reached my destination, Eltham palace. It was important because Eltham Palace, previously unbeknownst to me was mysteriously closed on a Saturday and all I had to show for my trip was an empty Salmon sandwich box, cramp in my left foot, and of course, the inevitably journey back again.

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…….the posse of angry young Thais searching for the elusive Coybag in order to thrash him to within an inch of his life for crimes against beachwear, and refusal to engage in paedophilia…found no further trace apart from a postcard, unsigned – nestling in a crack in the rocks, between a starfish and a used condom – that read, cryptically and tellingly: “Hi guys, loving Thailand; food, weather, beaches all great, loads of pics…wish u were here!”. Questioned about the authenticity of this clue, the locals were adamant that it was deposited by a man very closely fitting the description of the whitish, tallish, bluey-brown-eyed fugitive. It was also ruled out that the adjacent six-foot letters scraped into the sand that read “Opened bolo’s Asian office, promptly closed it due to inundation by shit flies and air conditioning condensation and started enjoying my holiday…when I get over the shits and the jet lag I my just write about the shits and the jet lag…”were of any interest to the investigation…..REUTERS

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Religion talks, Reason Walks and Shit Flies

This was gonna be big, a rant about how, in what we flatter ourselves to think is the most enlightened age of human history – when knowledge truly is power, and we are thus all truly empowered – that into our Parliament, that (still, surprisingly) world-respected carpentry shop where the raw wood of our taxes, resources and societal will is fashioned into the chairs, comfortable or otherwise, in which all our futures will sit (gonna stop this soon….), has been allowed to crawl the blind, dullard, atavistic carpet beetle of blind ignorance and its nastier, more energetic spawn, religion; and so the decision on whether, by passing the embryonics bill we advance human health, wellbeing and chances of our species’ survival long past the fungal-kingdom’s due date to take over has been allowed to be swayed by men in dresses who believe that somewhere out there (or up there) there is a big beardy man (in a dress), who made all this, by himself, for no particular reason but his own enjoyment; who fucked a married virgin, killed their son (not before he’d performed some magic tricks and made everyone mysteriously not record 34 out of the first 35 years of his life…the life of the SON OF GOD), dragged him from his grave, made him dance, then took him away 2,000 years ago and has not sent this ‘saviour’ back since, despite the world, er, going slightly downhill since…; and who believe that condoms are bad, but not because beardy man or junior specifically said so, and there’s different types of hell, but only because some poet made it up (which even THEY admit) and believe that the bill in question is ‘monstrous’ because it will save thousands of human embryos being required for research (yes that’s right you kid-fucking transvestite scum, you said abortion’s bad too[or was it beardy]….)…FUCK THEM, FUCK THEM ALL, BURN THEIR DRESSES WITH THEM IN THEM BEFORE ANY MORE KIDS GET FUCKED AAAAAGGGHHHH…………….like I said, it was going to be a big rant but instead I have to pack my case ahead of the brief re-opening of bolo’s asian office, moved somewhat east to Phuket. Bet I see some men in dresses there……..will report my findings anyhow. Laters boloists

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Bank Holiday

Generally taking the time to get away from the evil screen for a couple of days, spending a bit more of my life bopping about in the bank holiday blighted world of the replacement bus and the underground, to rant about UK hiphop to comparative strangers in the Eastern suburbs. Always a fine selection of beverages to be found on a bank holiday, and nice to swirl a bit of whiskey around the tumbler with a few old friends. A tasty selection of takeaways and a few films on the big screen while home and sofa bound with the omnipresent reassurance of a bit of Playstation time filling to see us through to work again. Yes not too bad a bank holiday at all.

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The Property Ladder

money down the toilet2008 is so far turning out to be a year of lucky breaks for me. Round of about the closing days of December of every year I run around telling everyone I meet and ringing up my long suffering mates to say that the next year is going to be the best yet. That the platform is finally there for the good ship Bolo (and by association the Groover) to reap the dividends of years of late nights, furious thinking, growing hard work and sadness and loss for the ones we left behind.

Of course, things never quite pan out quite that way, as the weeks and months fly by and you settle into old patterns, shelve plans for movie scripts and get on with scheming about Friday nights down the pub, late night donner kebabs, and keeping out of argument with your work colleagues on a day to basis.

But this year I was doubly determined and so far, whisper it mind, I can confirm that things are going smoothly. As an example, (and the only one that seems fair to talk about here) my prognostications of doom about the house buying have turned out to be untrue. After a brief spate of viewing unsuitable shanty town properties and shirking my property searching responsibilities I let upon a fine flat in the distant shire of Ealing which seems perfectly adequate for my needs. Following a couple of days of offer making and general estate agent rinsery I find myself with an offer accepted and the thought of imminent financial ruin offset by the delight in a good deal, done quickly allowing decent living and (perhaps most importantly) preventing any sort of return to the parental mansion.

Those of you who are familiar with the crazed world of English property buying will be quick to point out, that an offer accepted is by no means a done deal. That now I must be wary lest I get gazumped (which twat invented that word?) by some plumbait or be fearful of a poor survey result or the chances of the process dragging on for months and months. However, for the moment I am content to ignore these concerns, and to revel in the possibilities of progress, an escape from the suburban dark ages (well semi-escape), the prospect of choosing life, a wide screen television and a well stocked fridge full of fine delicatessen delicacies and strange and obscure liquors.

It’s funny because years ago, when I was younger (inevitably), more foolish and sometimes more perceptive, I realised the link between the system (the man) and the property-ladder and the dangers it posed to the best intentions of the individual. To illustrate: As a generally socialist and free-thinking individual I am not down on the asylum seeker or the junkie seeking therapy. I feel for the kids on corners hanging around with nothing to do rather than put their hoods up and shit up old ladies with their mobile phone tunes. I am free to do as I please, to leave the country, to stop work for months at a time or to spend my wages on loud music and trainers.

As a home owner, I have to start worrying if someone builds something down the street that affects the value of my property. I have to keep an eye on mundane percentage figures and the economy. The bank will own my soul and in times of trouble can finally turn the tables and seize my worldly assets if I get unctious or refuse to pay my offensive debts. Oh yes debt. Debt to the hilt and beyond, the kind of staggering figure which is so large in terms of comprehension of salary, overdraft and that jar you keep with your bits of change and carpet fluff, that it is a figure without meaning, an immense pound sign that owns your soul, hangs a noose over your children and threatens to shut down your brain if the web work stops coming and the coffers dry up.

Home ownership takes away a little of your freedom to do as you please and forces you to stay within the confines of society. It keeps you pushing towards the big bucks and putting your feet on the faces of the proletariat. Ah Marx, you never saw London house prices coming.

Still, I wanted to do it. Partly peer pressure I guess. Didn’t want to be the last person in my group to own a small bit of space, four walls and a three piece suite. But also something deeper. Maybe something in the classic adage about an Englishman and his castle. After all these years of flat sharing and seeing the washing up pile up while the walls get covered in the dirt from scuffles, exploding bottles and office chair rides down the stairs, the urge to claim a place of my own. A safe sanctuary where no fucker, be they landlord, drunken pal, or wandering gate crasher can rain on my parade. A place to plot future plans of world domination, to escape from these petty provincial despots and to create great things in peace and safety.

Jesus, that sounds like a distant dream. Like an advert for a car, or maybe Playstation 3. A perfect hermitage in a digital landscape, but I’m not sure. I think there is some resonance here. I think this could be the right way to go, that this place of tranquility could exist for real. Perhaps most importantly that it could be the right time to set up headquarters, that it probably is about time that I get some space, convene my best generals and plan the next (ideally mortgage clearing) epic campaign.

Ah well, who knows. The deal is done now and tomorrow the estate agent will be ringing to advance the process. I could duck his call, plead insanity or a lack of clean underwear, but I am pretty certain this will not be the case. I will answer the phone with a gag ready for him to laugh at (he’s paid well to laugh at my jokes), and the great wheel, despite my best efforts, will keep turning.

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