Wednesday, December 23, 2009

adam's hands

So it turns out I owe Tony Cook @ ABC Tales one for picking ADAM'S HANDS as his (almost) story of 2009.

It's a story I wrote last spring about a kid called Adam, white gloves, stigmata and a mermaid tattoo.

click here to read it

Monday, November 30, 2009

must... stop... writing... celebrity...blogs...

Poor old Calvin Harris. Not only is he three times the height of a normal human being (and a Scot to boot - joke. JOKE!) but his misguided attempt at staging a protest during the X Factor finals fell flatter than a flat pancake being flattened by a block of flats in Salar de Uyuni on the Altiplano of southwestern Bolivia, which - according to my Google toolbar - is the flattest place on Earth.

Let me explain. Before last Saturday’s shock Jedward exit *SOB* Calvin was forcibly ejected from Simon Cowell’s primetime cash cow for jumping onstage during the duo’s performance with – der der DERRRR!! - a pineapple on his head. Yes, a pineapple. On his head.

CaHa later apologised on Twitter for what the Telegraph called his ‘pineapple stunt’. Now I beg your pudding but putting a pineapple on one’s head does not qualify as a ‘stunt’. It barely qualifies as a fruit salad. Let’s see what the stuntmeister himself had to say about it: “I was thrown off x factor for jumping onstage with a pineapple on my head. At the end of the day, I had a pineapple on my head. Sorry if I caused anyone embarrassment. P.S I love Jedward.”

As celebrity apologies go, it’s not up there with Kanye’s ‘Taylor!!!! Boooyaawww!!!! You are very talented!!!!! I’m not crazy y’all, I’m just real!!!!! Sorry for that!!! Much Respect!!!!’ but perhaps either Jed or Ward can console themselves with the fact they were warned in advance. Calvin’s one-man pineapple campaign began in the early hours of the morning, when he posted a photo of the offending item on the X Factor site and tagged it with the word ‘important’. One can only speculate the effect this cryptic posting had on his fans, but I think it’s fair to assume that global sales of pineapple stayed exactly the same.

Next month: Calvin gatecrashes the Oscars with a kiwi in his ear. P.S. I love Jedward.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Article no. 1: the Sugababes. How I hate seeing that word in print. Who the hell spells ‘sugar’ like that anyway? Does one partake of suga in one’s tea? NO! One does not. But the production line that brought us multi-talente… only joking, multi-pierced Mutya Buena (most recently spotted touching a shepherd’s pie through the wall on Shooting Stars) and the one who had her ginger-in-a-girl-band crown well and truly nicked by Nicola from Girls Aloud, has now given the line-up’s only original member the boot. A jam tart to anyone who knows which one that is.

Now for a sentence you won’t read every day. With the aid of a Maths GCSE and an online calculator, I think I’ve unearthed some kind of Faustian pact. The average lifespan of a Sugababe *shudder* is now a truly pathetic 6.66 years and, da da DAAAAA!!!! 666 is the number of the devil! woooOOOOOooo! Perhaps this goes some way to explain the reason that a girl band (insert Kanye) wid da the most moronic moniker of ALL TIME are still going strong after ELEVEN – read it and weep – years. That’s eleven, in case you hadn’t heard me the first time. Eleven years, or - to link two entirely unrelated news snippets in a style the News of the World would be proud of - one-third of Stephen Gately’s life.

I don’t need to tell you that this month’s pop column was brought to you through mounds of Kleenex - and no, not that sort of Kleenex. I’m mourning not only the end of the original Sugababes line-up, but the untimely demise of my favourite member of Boyzone. I cried when he came out - and looking back I’m mildly embarrassed, not by the tears but by the total malfunction of my 13-year-old gaydar. Somebody really needs to get that fixed. Anyway I’m into Take That now, soz.

And talking of men with dubious sexual orientation, I’ll bring this column to an end with the results of this month’s MikaWatch. I haven’t seen him yet. God knows I’ve tried. Mika? Je t'adore. Call me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

celebrate my lady garden, bitch

You may already be aware that the video for new Madonna single Celebration features the old bag gyrating at an unpleasantly personal angle to the camera in a Balmain dress and thigh-high boots. Does this worry anyone else? After all, if you caught any other 50-year-old masturbating in a big white cube while her daughter watches from the sidelines you'd be on the phone to Childline quicker then Guy Ritchie can say ‘I didn’t only make Snatch, OK?’

But hold on a second! Perhaps the amount of milky Ciccone inner thigh (toned and how!) on display is NOT to prove that Madge's quads are testament to the 300,000 agonising times she benchpresses Mercy and David Banda before breakfast, but as some kind of fiendishly intelligent riposte to ex-hubby Ritchie's career-defining gangster flick, exploiting one of the best-known and comparatively tasteful synonyms for her lady parts of modern times. Yes, as any fule kno, 'snatch' is listed on Urban Dictionary alongside old favourites like 'beaver', 'cooch' and 'bearded clam' as an alternative name for 'that bit wot's in front of the bum'.

POW! Comin' atcha, Ritchie! Who'd've thunk it, eh? And isn't that her barely-out-of-the-womb boyfriend Jesus she's sucking face with in the background? Yes. Yes, it is.

Theory: PROVED, and for my next trick I'll be interpreting the new Sugababes single (sample lyric: 'Hey! Yeah! Whoo! I'm too sexy in this club!') as a satire on the inexorable rise of modern technology.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Bluffer's Guide To A Femimist Wedding

for DON'T PANIC magazine's feminism issue.

Tradition be damned, here are some tips to help the truly modern feminist navigate the shark-infested waters of a Feminist Wedding. All (equal) rights reserved.

1. The Dress Conundrum. No feminist would be seen dead hobbling down the aisle in a cripplingly impractical floor-length white dress. While the groom gets to play 009 for the day in a top hat ‘n’ tux, poor old Muggins in the knock-off Wang meringue might as well be wearing a sign that says: FOR SOME REASON, I AM PRETENDING THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN A PENIS. And don’t get me started on the garters. Why not take a leaf out of Tracey Emin’s book and appliqué your wedding dress with names of former conquests? This will test your husband-to-be’s feminist sympathies (study his face when Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (insert dates) comes tripping down the aisle) and serve as a handy reminder of just how far your needlework skills have come since the pre-lib days when your ancestors spent 95 hours a week in front of a loom.

2. ‘Giving away the bride?’ No feminist worth their salt is going to fall for that old chestnut. Instead of allowing your father to walk you up the aisle towards your husband – an age-old transaction which, as all good feminists know, pre-dates Ebay and doubles as a jolly good way for Pops to settle his outstanding debts - the bride and groom should walk towards each other at a pre-determined pace, meeting at the halfway point. If, however, you have bought your husband over the internet or are a mail-order bride, different rules apply. Under these circumstances the seller should hand over the goods, enjoy the reception and post appropriate feedback next morning.

3. The Surname. I see no reason why the liberated woman should be expected to take her husband’s surname, particularly if it’s something like Snot or Rimmer. Experiment with the hyphen, or come up with an entirely new surname that both of you will approve of. Something like ‘Pankhurst’, perhaps.

4. ‘If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.’ Thus spake Beyonce: staunch supporter of the Single Lady and, erm, recently married. Forgo the Wedding March in place of a rendition of feminist anthem ‘Independent Woman,’ which includes lyrics guaranteed to put a lift in the modern man’s step: ‘Only ring your cell-y when I'm feelin lonely / When it's all over please get up and leave’. To avoid confusion, members of the choir may wish to skip the opening couplet - ‘Lucy Liu...with my girl, Drew... Cameron D. and Destiny... Charlie's Angels, come on, uh uh uh’.

4. Pre/post-ceremony celebrations. Hen parties are notorious for two things: naff headgear and a stonking hangover in the morning – but don’t complain if your bridesmaids strip you naked and tie you to a lamppost in Prague. And don’t neglect those biceps, because the only truly feminist way to kick off the wedding night is to carry the groom over the threshold. Equal rights work both ways, y’know.

Friday, July 31, 2009

mick jagger's arse: a tribute

Sadly not mine.

OK, so I'm meant to be re-writing the end of a short film. It's called Tales From Moving Vehicles, and it's about a taxi driver listening to his wife have sex in the back of his cab. But it isn't porn. It probably should be porn, because now I've started thinking about it there's probably loads of cash in writing pornos. If pornos even have scripts.

The WOMAN is astonished by something enormous out of shot.
Is that... alive?

Etc. I digress. Back to the film. So I just gave the ending away, but I'm re-doing it so some video-camera-y types in Canada can make it into a film and I can show the finished product to my Mum.

But my wisdom teeth are coming through, and I've got all these shiny new CDs to review for Glasswerk so I think I'll do that instead.

This one's my favourite:


There's something about rock 'n' roll with a European accent that really pushes my buttons. Yeah, it's the same three chords, and possibly even the same three songs, but where lines like "when you got a car I'm ready to steal it" sound all sexily impoverished and Iggy Pop-like from the mouths of Hot Gossip (who hail, incidentally, from Milan), they're frankly all too believable when sung by Dave from Wigan.

You Look Faster When You Are Young is not a meditation on the deteriorating mobility of the older generation, but the debut album from hotly-tipped Italian rock ’n’ rollers Hot Gossip. It aims to do absolutely nothing new whatsoever, concentrating instead upon channelling the energies of the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Fratellis into twelve tracks that sound quite a lot like the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Fratellis. In fact, You Look Faster When You Are Young sounds so much like the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Fratellis that I’m almost 100% certain at least two members of the band think they are the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Fratellis. And the third, no doubt, has Mick Jagger’s face tattooed on his arse.

Cops With Telephones kicks off with the feebly-disguised riff from Waterloo Sunset, while Call The Rangers.. oh I give up. You Look Faster When You Are Young should be subtitled World’s Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Hits Ever! and decorated with a picture of an Italian wedding band - but hey, what’s not to like? Erm, the truly godawful Klaxons-aping track And Again, that’s what. Hot Gossip, what were you thinking?! The only possible explanation for the presence of such a TUMOUR on the surface of an otherwise enjoyable debut album is some kind of rift in the time-space continuum in which Mick Jagger was temporarily replaced with the fat one from the Klaxons and confused little Guilio to such an extent that he recorded this track UNDER FALSE PRETENCES and plans to remove it from the album as soon as possible. Either that, or Hot Gossip actually quite like the Klaxons. Which is not a possibility I’m willing to consider.

Aside from And Again (is it still there?) being totally, like, young and dumb, dude, is what You Look Faster When You Are Young is all about - and lines like “You just got here, how do you do/You can find me easy down at the zoo” sound so much dumber in a foreign accent. Believe me, with this kind of snotty rock 'n' roll that's a good thing. Look what it did for Howlin' Pelle.

My buttons? Consider them pushed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009



Yes. I'm sneezing. An invisible person is punching the back of my neck. I can't understand what's happening in Project Runway. I DON'T WANT TO EAT. Swine flu has finally hit the Midlands but hey, that's OK because everyone else has got it and I don't like feeling left out.

It would be slightly more OK, however, if I didn't have an interview at 11am tomorrow morning. And no, it's not for night shifts at Tesco but an internship I actually want. An internship that may actually pay me REAL money as opposed to Monopoly money or the "£2 a day expenses" I was offered by TimeOut, who presumably expect me to camp outside their offices in a box, eat the box, and dress in different bits of the box for work. Thanks, guys!

And to add insult to injury, or nits to swine flu, I've just been asked to shampoo the hair of an eight-year-old with headlice.

NIT FACT! Bob Marley's dreads housed nine different types of louse, each enjoying a fixed-rate mortgage and unlimited shelter beneath his hat.

ANNABEL WIGODER FACT! Nine different kinds of headlice are unlikely to get me a job, unless I can train them to sing an acapella version of the Cockroach Song by the time I reach St Pancras. Watch this space.

patrick's big toe itched like crazy

Patrick lay awake and wondered when the itching would stop. He lay flat on his back, staring up at the ceiling, and tried to think of other things. He thought about the eggs he'd had for breakfast. He concentrated very hard on the eggs, and remembered exactly how they looked on his plate. Amelia did not cook eggs well. He thought about Amelia. He thought about her skin, and her socks, and the skidmarks in her underwear, until the combination of eggs and skin and socks and skidmarks in little white panties made him feel sick.

Patrick's big toe itched like crazy. He screwed up his eyes and tried to ignore it. He clenched and unclenched his toes to the tune of a song he knew from a Halifax advert. He rotated his ankles in different directions, but the itch was under his toenail, and no amount of clenching and unclenching would do anything about it. Patrick wondered what the itch was. Perhaps a spider had crawled underneath his toenail and laid eggs - perhaps the itch wasn't an itch at all, but hundreds of baby spiders twitching their way to the surface.

Patrick shivered and sat up. He peered at his big toe in the dark. The itch was almost unbearable. He wanted to rip off his toes and scratch at the flesh underneath. He scratched and scratched from ankle to heel, between his toes. He wished he had a fork to itch his foot more thoroughly.

Slowly and carefully, Patrick peeled a layer of skin away from the sole of his foot. It felt more rubbery than he'd expected, but came away easily. If anything it was a relief. Patrick began on his little toe, and removed the skin from the rest of his foot without trouble. When he reached the bones of his ankle, there really seemed no other option than to continue peeling; Patrick unsheathed his leg from ankle to knee in less than 15 seconds.

Patrick paused for a moment, and considered his other foot. Seemingly just by thinking about it, his other foot had started to itch. Patrick had only to grasp his foot in both hands for the skin to loosen, and he eased it away from his toes and up his calf like a football sock.

The skin of Patrick's lower legs crumpled around his knees. He took a deep breath and eased it up and over his thighs, imagining that the sensation was not altogether unlike that of putting on a pair of Amelia's stockings. Patrick began to feel horny: a logistical nightmare when the layer of skin he was stripping reached his crotch. He took extra care around his testicles, bracing himself for pain, and peeled his cock with only the very tips of his fingers.

Having stripped his genitals bare, Patrick lay down, raised his hips, and peeled himself like a banana. His chest hair caused a minor problem, as did the insides of his ears, but he found that if he gave the problem area a moment to re-adjust, the skin around it would slacken and come away with ease. He took extra care around his eyes and removed as little of his eyebrows as possible.

Removing the skin from the top of his head felt strange, like squeezing garlic through a press. It was warmer than the rest, and greasy. When he ran his fingers over it he was surprised to find millions of tiny perforations, one for each and every individual hair.

Patrick took a deep breath and patted himself gingerly, fearing baby spiders. His body felt cool to the touch, soft and dry as if he'd been covered with a layer of talcum powder. His testicles, curiously, were very hot. He held the layer of his discarded skin gently between both hands, and wondered what to do with it. It was man-sized, of course, but he discovered that by compressing it between his palms he could make it much smaller.

Patrick held the outer layer of his skin in a ball about the same size and shape as a coconut. It was very light, and he tossed it in the air a couple of times, passing it from hand to hand. Patrick held it to his chest, lay in the dark and listened to his heartbeat. He felt extraordinarily relaxed.

After a moment, Patrick raised the ball to his face and sniffed. It smelt like old books, and ever so slightly like raw meat. He tasted a piece on the end of his tongue: it tasted exactly as he thought it would. Patrick began to chew, taking his time, moistening each piece with saliva. He did not stop to think about what he was doing, and when he had finished he burped once, quietly.

The itching had stopped. The room was still dark. Patrick guessed that there were still several hours until dawn, and started to feel very tired. He yawned, stretching, and rolled onto his side, wrapping an arm around the sleeping Amelia. Tucking himself into a Z-shape behind her, Patrick buried his face in her hair.

He was glad not to have woken her up.