The Rules

  1. Never drink owt you can’t see through
  2. Never eat anything bigger than your head
  3. Never have a pet that does bigger shits than you do (courtesy @sugwindfire)
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Poetry corner: The Notts County Linesman

I have a lot of sympathy for linesmen. Assistant referees my arse though. Especially at non-league level where the voices are easier to pick out and, as opposed to a wall of sound, I imagine harder to blot out. They shuffle sideways through mud, get piss wet through and for what? £40 and their mileage? Anyway, this.

I am the linesman at Notts County
And I wave the yellow flag
I hear all the abuse from the Derek Pavis stand.
I hear you calling me a bastard
Because your striker was offside.
But the Notts County linesman’s still running the line.

I get pelters for my fitness,
I hear you calling me big-boned.
I passed the bleep and fat tests I will have you know.
I hear you calling me a wanker
Cos your left-back’s a niggly shite.
But the Notts County linesman’s still running the line.

I barely cover my expenses,
I get just 40p a mile,
But the Notts County linesman’s still running the line.

Poerty corner: Screws!

The other day, I put a TV stand together. The kit came with absolutely bloody loads of screws. Two-thirds of them were totally not useful as well, so why they were in the pack I don’t know. Did I throw them away? Of course I didn’t and now my toolbox has even more loose screws in it than before. Along with the random washers, clips, pins, nails, fasteners and sundry other items that ‘might be useful one day’. And that prompted this.

 

I open my toolbox; it’s full of loose screws.
Screws! Screws that I’ll never use –
I’ll never use but I dare not lose.
‘Is it some sort of madness?’ I’m oft prone to muse.
‘Have I a screw loose?’ No, I’ve loose screws.

They may come in handy, I always say.
They haven’t as yet, but they may do some day.
‘How?’ you may ask. ‘Handy in what way?’
That question I cannot answer today,
But in my toolbox they’ll all have to stay.

Poetry Corner: Shopping In A Different Aldi

My regular is shut for a refit or something,
Or they’ve got new staff to train,
So I’ve to go and shop at a different spot
And it’s about to break my brain

I’m shopping in a different Aldi
And my blood is starting to boil.
I’m shopping in a different Aldi;
Where the fuck’s the fucking cooking oil?

When I come down here in my usual one
I find pizzas – Hawaiian, margherita.
But what do I find in this strange place?
A workbench and a patio heater.

I’m shopping in a different Aldi.
I can’t find the bloody pies.
I’m shopping in a different Aldi.
Is there any falafel in this house of lies?

There’s couscous where the crisps go,
Everything’s different and yet just the same.
Crisps have replaced the cat food,
I can’t find the bog rolls. I’m going insane

I’m shopping in a different Aldi.
Garden furniture and a welcome mat.
I’m shopping in a different Aldi.
There’s a whole extra aisle of pointless tat.

The parking bays are bigger here,
I swear there’s room for a tank.
The layout is different but familiar,
Like using your wrong hand for a wank.

I’m shopping in a different Aldi.
Getting carried out and bundled into a van.
I’m shopping in a different Aldi.
Screaming ‘Instead of cheese it were frying pans’.

Another depression post

Yeah, more stuff about depression. Sorry about that, but when you live with it you find that it kind of dominates things. Even when you’re not feeling down, there’s a shadow, a presence, even if it is diminished for however long.

Anyway, it’s not my fault it’s topical again. No, it’s Johann Hari‘s. He’s written a book and been doing the rounds on various channels, not least Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (RHLSTP). The book has been critiqued by many. I’ve not read it and don’t intend to. I love me a bit of RHLSTP, not just because of the celebrity York City fan aspect, but I had to turn this one off.

I do not doubt Hari’s experiences with depression – and lord knows he’s given us all ammunition to do just that, but let’s be charitable. I do not doubt that what he talks about – and I refer specifically to the podcast here – can and has worked for him. Much of it bears a truth as far as I can see, though only goes part way to making an understanding of what goes on in a depressed person’s brain. The big selling point of the book seems to be these new revelations about lifestyle – societal rather than personal – factors weighing so heavily on the id which, so far as I can tell, aren’t really revelatory at all.

I’m not having a go at Hari – I’ve not read the book so can’t really dive in like Dean Burnett did. More, I want to explore this line of thinking.

At least in part my own depression, I came to work out, lay in this existential angst of my place in the modern world, in a neo-liberal end-game capitalist era. This article from George Monbiot really struck a chord with me. On the back of it, I bought the Paul Verhaeghe book cited within, What About Me?, and again it helped me make a lot of sense about what I was feeling and how utterly misplaced I was within modern society. Still am, really, just better able to understand why. And I keep forgetting the key takeaway – I’m probably a deviant and should be proud of the fact.

Obviously that’s not all there is to it and someone else’s experience of depression will not tally at all with mine. Verhaeghe’s book was no more a magic bullet than any other possibly could be, and from what I’ve read and heard, neither will Hari’s. What worries me more is that Hari’s is being marketed as that magic bullet. Listen to this and all will be fine. And that’s potentially dangerous.

Depression is complex and it’s crafty. It changes. There is no checklist to tick off a few items and declare yourself fixed. I guess what I’m saying is take with a large pinch of salt anyone suggesting otherwise. By all means read Hari’s book, just take it as one bloke’s experience and how he dealt with the issues he was facing, and don’t take it as a recipe book on how to fix depression. There are all sorts of therapies out there – yes, referrals take time and that – as well as medication. Some will work for you. Some won’t. And that’s absolutely fine. You will find one that works for you. Just beware the snake oil salesman.

Poetry Corner: Aliyev

Aliyev, Aliyev, the thinnest skin by man possessed.
You run the risk of an arrest
By taking the piss out of Aliyev.

Now Azerbaijan is a wonderful place
Run by a sentient turnip with no charm or grace.
He’s got a big moustache and a very big nose,
And in downtown Baku what he says goes.

Aliyev, Aliyev, the thinnest skin by man possessed.
You run the risk of an arrest
By taking the piss out of Aliyev.

Insulting him is beyond the pail;
Do it on twitter and you could face jail.
He’s a tinpot despot with a slug on his face,
And like all oil-rich tyrants has a Formula 1 race

He hates criticism and he hates free press
Because they might find out that he’s a corrupt mess.
He appointed his wife to be his own VP –
No problem there, nothing to see.

Aliyev, Aliyev, the thinnest skin by man possessed.
You run the risk of an arrest
By taking the piss out of Aliyev.

His country’s blessed with lots of gas and oil
Which he uses to fund his lavish lifestyle.
It’s fun to mock this ridiculous man,
But now I’ll never be allowed into Azerbaijan

Aliyev, Aliyev, the thinnest skin by man possessed.
You run the risk of an arrest
By taking the piss out of Aliyev.

Poetry corner: Citalopram Sam

Citalopram Sam,
Citalopram Sam:
40 milligram.

Fluoxatine Slim,
Fluoxatine Slim:
Don’t know where my libido’s been.
Trazodone Frank,
Trazodone Frank:
Brain and hands don’t work,
But feel slight less wank

Citalopram Sam
40 milligram.
Citalopram Sam
40 milligram.

Prozac’s alright,
Prozac’s alright:
Little chap won’t get up
He’s just outta sight.
Paroxetine Jake,
Paroxetine Jake:
Can’t shit, can’t sleep,
Got the sweaty, dizzy shakes

Amitriptyline,
Amitriptyline:
Makes me invincible
You know what I mean?
No pain in my knees or in my back
And every emotion I now seem to lack.

Citalopram Sam,
Citalopram Sam.

I’m a howlin’ mess