dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Chalky: Lunatic, not Moron

There was some lunatic in the park this morning, around the time of the school’s first bell. He was shouting his head off and making all kinds of hand gestures as if he was having a ruckus with an invisible man. It’s standard procedure to give these nutters a wide berth but nowadays I can’t resist getting an insight into characters like this, so I went over and asked him if he was alright. “I AM NOT, NOT, A MORON!” he shouted. I burst out laughing, because the word moron is a private joke between me and my mate Daz* (we amuse ourselves by calling people odd insults, like melon, plum, spanner, doorknob, etc).

I kept my distance of course but I was intrigued. Plus I was doing my bit for the community. A school mum and an elderly lady had already took detours to avoid him. If he started hacking someone to death I might be too late getting over there. “YEAH, I’M FINE,” he said, “I’M CHALKY. EVERYONE ON THIS MANOR OVER 18 KNOWS ME.” Funny, as I'd never clapped eyes on him. After exchanging pleasantries I left him to it. He said he wasn’t drunk. He was sharp as a fox. I forgot to ask him what he was on and if he had any spare. Damn it.

Ten minutes later he was shouting again. I could hear him from the bathroom. He was quite lyrical actually, a latent performance poet perhaps. This is why the morning is the most important segment of the Earth’s spin. It’s imperative to hear the birds and the sirens before the harsh wash of plain day gets into busy flow. This is why you can’t beat the ghetto, the slum, the streets, the estate, or, according to Chalky, the manor. They’re simply more interesting. Cul-de-sacs and gated communities may be the safest place to raise kids, but there’s a predictability about the same folk passing through every day. First sniff of a stranger and they’re on the blower to the five 0.

*Here’s the link for Daz’s poignant history: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-friend-darren-by-guest-blogger.html

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Okay then peeps! What’s happening today? Woz ap’nin peeps? Hey, incidentally, if you use the word peeps in real life then you just made my death list. Some jerkweed disc jockey used it earlier and sounded like a right dildo. Trying to get down with all this modern urban slang – give me a break. Well, I’ve got one word for all that, and it’s this – F**KOFF!

“Rolling fly” I can live with (that means driving a got-to-have-me motor). The word “sick” to describe something good I’m not so sure about. I find it funny and cool when others use it but I don’t think I would use it myself. When something is “the bomb” is okay too. That means it’s good or cool or the biz or whatever.

When in doubt, resort to Scouse English. Everyone knows Cockney rhyming slang so we don’t need to bother with that. You can make it up as you go along. Look, I’ll do it now. Let’s just say corned beef legs, for the sake of argument. Corned beef legs means mottled legs, but if I want to develop my own Cockney rhyming slang, I might say something like scabby teeth legs, because it rhymes with corned beef legs. Is that right? No, hang on. White as a Flashlight legs. Still not right is it. Harder than I thought. Bad example though. Let’s try something else.

How about hair? Right, here we go – funfair. Did you see the funfair on that? That’s rubbish I know but you see what I mean. We all know the common ones like Britney Spears (ears), boat race (face), and Ruby Murray (curry). The best one I heard was Phil Mitchell calling someone “brown bread” before I even knew what CRS was. I was like, WTF? It means dead.

Scouse English is even better, although its relation to Liverpool is questionable.

TWO BAGGER = A person so ugly you should put 2 bags over their head in case 1 falls off.
KNEE-TREMBLER = Sexual Intercourse while standing
LARGE LOAF OF BREAD = Docker’s doorstep
BALD = Eggshell blond
DAISY CUTTER = Low football shot, pea roller
BUM FREEZER = Short jacket

Example = I heard Roger paid for a knee trembler off some eggshell blond two bagger last night behind Iceland bins.

There’re loads more here but I don’t want to give them all away! Look Scouse English up for yourself. I don’t need a search engine: I have a precious little paperback. So there. Ya fackin cant.

g And speaking of giving things away, piebald77 has been under scrutiny in regard to last year’s fiction. Having contributed myself, I was worried that my ideas and the ideas of people like Jamelia K and Sharon Hood might have been cast to the ether forever to be illegally reproduced or reprinted or whatever. But you know what, I have it on good authority that every author should have an online presence with samples of their works on, and blogs are better than static websites. Better yet, piebald77 no want your money. Just your occasional visits. Make DONNIE'S DUSTBIN a part of your day.

Yeah, so as I was saying, all the fiction from 2010 (DNMF), is here to stay on the blog. Rest assured, I have something special up my sleeve when it comes to publishing personal projects. There’s a helluva lot more where all that came from. The blog is just the tip of the iceberg. I have tried and tested, self-sustaining methods of producing entertaining (to us) writing. And I may have just stumbled upon some similar methods for producing art.

; Here’s to another hot one here in the north of England. June’s riding out. Kick back and enjoy it, homies. Scorchio!;

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Alex Ardenti

I firmly believe that when I die and ascend to Heaven on the back of the monster from The NeverEnding Story, God will produce a tablet with a screen on (no, not an i-pad), and show me a condensed video of my life. If I’m right, then surely a video of this importance can only be made by Alex Ardenti.

I hope that you might understand what I mean even if bodybuilding doesn’t appeal to you in the slightest. The subject could be gymnastics, rowing, or dinner ladies doing the hokey cokey, and I would still hold these videos in the same high regard. For those who can relate, these are the weightlifting equivalent of Rocky videos. I’ve always said that quality footage needs very little else apart from skillful camera work and ace music.

You could point a camera in one spot, come back later, and I suppose you could call it a movie. Anything goes, I guess. But this is genuine footage, where the camera is busy, busy-busy-busy, zooming in and out fast like a bouncy ball, sliding to the side, slowing down, speeding up, jerking around, going into black and white, sharp focus, soft focus…I don’t know the lingo, but I know what I mean, and I know what I like.

There’s always something happening. Every single shot. Every transition. Effects, touches, sequences. With Alex, montage is king. You just know that painstaking hours of work have gone into embellishing less than 3 minutes of screen time. It’s all about the timing. And the music, of course. In both cases, for me, because it’s rare, and fitting, the music is exceptional, the icing on the cake. Videos like this deserve their own special music. They are too passionately created to simply slap someone else’s melodies over.

Absolutely outstanding. The benchmark for camera work. Take a bow, Alex Ardenti!

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Ruins

There’s something oddly cinematic about a blond covered in blood. Now, before you start reaching conclusions from that statement, let me explain…

I say this mainly because of the movie Scar (2007). After being held captive and tortured, a young woman chainsaws the bad guy at the end. As she grimaces and gets into the chainsawing of him proper (there’s more to it than pulling a trigger), her gritted teeth and cheeks are spattered with blood. It’s gruesome, but at the same time, you’re thinking, go on girl, stick it to him, the dirty mother! It’s almost inspiring, after what she’s been through, the real moment of glory for the underdog.

The clip here reminds me of The Exorcist (1973) an awful lot. The Ruins is one of those movies which you remember for one standout scene alone. Nothing special had happened prior, but once it took off, you were like, wow man. This is disturbing, without being overly twisted and sick or bizarre. The movie is far from a bloodfest. There’s so much gore out there, but hardly any of it is done for any worthwhile purpose. Think of all the Final Destination (2000) deaths. Sure, they’re imaginative and skillfully executed, but come on, they’re just for laughs at the end of the day. This, for me, was a shocking thunderclap of emotion in what was otherwise a quiet, non-eventful movie. It was wrenching, moving, and brilliant.

If you want to call someone twisted, call it Conrad Williams, whose latest crime book is called Blonde on a Stick! Haha. I recall his reading last year at Manchester Book Market. It was a bright, beautiful day, the hottest day of the year thus far, and he was reading about blood oozing out of cut throats! Now that's a man into his horror.

Oh and by the way, in case you miss it like I did the first time, keep your eyes on her forehead when she swigs from the bottle.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sucker Punch

Not to be confused with the abysmal British turner-offer Donkey Punch (2008)

What can I say, apart from go and see it? I can’t emphasize the importance of going into movies fresh as well. Pull out all the stops to be naive. The trailers and the hype spoil all the surprises. There were no opening credits, because great cinema doesn’t need to hook you with big names at the beginning, so I was welcomed by happy pop-ups such as Gretchen from Donnie Darko, or Jena Malone if you prefer, and Scott Glenn, the guy who keeps money under the floor in Training Day (2001). This got into flow fast. As is so often the case, an unseen “star” reaches the radar in almost 2 consecutive films – Abbie Cornish, from Limitless (2010). It’s funny how someone you are unaware of can feature in 2 movies you watch back-to-back and suddenly they are the hottest thing on the box since sliced bread and there’s no one else you’d rather be slobbering over, cough, I mean watching. This last occurred with Evan Racheal Wood, in The Wrestler (2008), and in King of California (2007), alongside the man virtually guaranteed to lose his rag in every production, the legendary Michael “goddamn” Douglas.

Sucker Punch (2011) is made for big HD tellies. And people like me. It’s always a good sign when the opening soundtrack is one of the teenage anthems that marked you growing up, a good remix of The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This. Did I recognize Bjork’s voice throughout, too? I was so impressed by the opening sequence that I almost started it again, which is super unusual, but I didn’t want to be there all night. That was 5 minutes in. At the 26 minute mark I had to take my hat off and take a breather. I almost turned it off so my memories of that first 26 minutes could live on as they were, and not be tarnished by another 82 minutes, which would only serve to surely water down the intensity of what I’d viewed so far.

It was the best 26 minutes ever. Its unforeseen evolution and skill truly "sucker punched" me. One epic twist is rare enough, in 90 minutes, such as Orphan (2009). By 26 minutes, in this, there’d been 2. And we’re talking a twist of Gothika (2003) proportions, when Halle Berry awakes as a patient in the hospital where she works, very early on in the film. There was that sense of reality flipping on its head, and then flipping on its head again. Dual existences and fantasy are what it’s all about, for myself. That sh*t is my bread n butter. Again, as with Hannah (2011), I could almost have been watching an adaptation of my own work.

Knowing others out there have emptied the entire contents of their creative psyches into scripts and then had their ideas propelled onto the screen via visual effects teams and millions of bucks reaffirms my Wheel of Life typology i.e that the individual hardly matters, as the life of humankind is a self-perpetuating cloud of regenerative / regurgitated / reincarnated artistry and creation. Phew! Best point in months! Months, I say!

It went on just a bit too long, milking that other reality for every cent, like The Hulk (2003) (2008) changing back-and-to far too many times; of course, expected, this is Warner Bros. here, but you can’t ask for a better balance between Hollywood happy endings and mind-bending, off-the-rails filmmaking than this. It was Gothika, Beowulf (2007), Resident Evil (2002), and a war movie in one. The thing is, however, I thought I was watching something like Gothika, so when it did its cross-genre tricks, I was stunned and gob-smacked with awe, fixed to the screen like a toddler watching Thomas the Tank Engine. Sad thing is, these very tricks are tools of promotion on the front cover and the marketing, so others will judge it against out-and-out single genre movies.

I swerved the front cover at first because it looked like something silly, and was only “sucked” in by a description line which mentioned the words “institutionalized” and “alternate reality”. Again, I stress how thrillingly rapturous it is to be swept away by a drastic change of course in a story rather than to enter it with preconceptions defined by billboards or adverts. Imagine your reaction if a talking, cigar-smoking unicorn in red leather boots made a debut halfway thru an episode of Columbo, against your reaction if you knew it was about to happen – no comparison, is there? Remember the Cadbury’s gorilla advert? Did you see that, or hear about it first?

There will always be a dilemma between selling the pitch and not giving too much away.

Go see this. Now. Or I’ll discipline you like I’m your dad and treat you like I’m your pimp. hohohaha

P.S Forgot to mention Carla Gugino from Snake Eyes (1998). Strong cast this.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Place

In light of Terry Prachett’s highlighting of assisted suicide (yawn), here’s a glimpse into the primitive mind of Sebastian Worboys, now at rest on the other side. The solstice reminds me of him a lot. Sleep was a blessing for him, between 11 pm and 3am. Those few hours of darkness were his liveliest. It’s odd how those who you lose change in your memory. A sudden thought: A swift tear.

There are all kinds of torture horror genres out there, including death metal horror anthologies (oh jeez), and frankly I feel that whoever is spending their time writing gratuitous prose about dismemberment and whatever else may just be a little unhinged. In this case, Sebastian extended our joint venture THE PLACE in a way to express how such sub-genres and other elements of society have grown so fond of gory brutality. Plus, essentially, it’s absolutely integral to the story.


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Panel Discussion

I was on a panel for the Arts Alliance back in March, hosted by Tim Robertson (above), Chief Executive for The Koestler Trust, in the Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool. To my relief and delight I was alongside author and prison education extraordinaire Pat Lemsatef who I got to know back in 2007. I couldn’t have read the script back then that I would be speaking alongside her in the future. I give her full credit for my first ‘career earnings’ from writing.

Also alongside was best-selling author and poet John Siddique. He confidently assumed a central seat. He surprised people in the room by saying he was against self-expression in some respects, admitting that he wasn’t too fond of any old wannabe artist “squirting their smallness all over him.” This comment had me fighting off the giggles which I couldn’t afford to let consume me. That’s the thing with giggles though – they are only giggles if people are looking and you shouldn’t be laughing*. Afterwards, John and I had a private conversation, and it was the most I have ever engaged with a professional writer. I'm pleased to report that we both refrained from squirting our smallness all over each other!

My heart was beating so much when it was almost my turn to speak that I thought it was visible through my shirt. I wished I had worn a T-shirt underneath. I was sure they could see it thumping away. Taking deep breaths didn’t help. It was out of control. This was only my second ever public speaking engagement about writing, and the 1st one had been over a year ago. But once the ball got rolling it was okay, and I remembered saying something along the lines of “Art is the difference between getting up in the morning and rolling back over.” I thought this one dreary morning after a ruff ole night and the idea really resonated with me, but I never made a mental note to say it in the future. It just came out live, from memory, on the spur.

A Cambridge student in the audience, Daniella Elson-Drummond, has agreed to quote this line from me to open her thesis with. I feel like I have flicked a chink of my soul out there and she has caught it in her little skilled hand. Great, great stuff. Subsequently, completing the questionnaire she has since devised for me as part of her studies was a unique opportunity to write about myself in an open, informative fashion. It was once suggested by a medical professional that I figure in some university studies, when I was a teenager, and I declined. Not this time, baby.

Also in the audience to ease my nerves were Sarah Grainger-Jones and Catherine Chamberlain, who have both helped me within the Koestler. And I must say that it was a real booster to see playwright Dean Stalham present, of Art Saves Lives, because Art Really Does Save Lives.

I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet, because I need another couple of inches to do that, or a rib removed, heehee – no, the object of this post, the hidden gem, is apparent below. You see, the pretty young lady standing in the bottom photo (who just so happened to be Pat Lemsatef’s daughter) is asking a question which is then addressed onto me, and I was too busy with my camera to fully absorb it all. I therefore had to pretend like I had heard the whole question and not just the last bit and give a half-assed answer in return. I nearly had slimy undercooked egg on my face and I felt like a right drill bit. I was so busy taking back some of the experience via my turdy antique camera that it almost backfired. Lesson learned.

l The moral of this post then is to just enjoy some opportunities. Too often these days we are recording things with our phones and cameras, and we are in danger of missing the woods for the trees. We are like dogs peeing on every lamp post on the block. Some things need to be savoured, without pictures, without tweets, without distractions. Some moments demand our rapt, undivided attention, because they don’t last long, and they are easy to miss l

Take nothing but memories. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints.

*Giggles are living. Giggles are life. I can't wait for the next set. Let them erupt, let them rip, because that's all we have, our laughs and our cries.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Source Code / Henry's Crime

I twinned up on a double dose of Vera Farmiga here, who shot to stardom in my Best Actress Hall of Fame when she played Teresa Gazelle (Running Scared, 2006) and assassinated a female paedophile by blasting her from close range with 3 bullets, one in each boob and one in the head! The best bitch-on-bitch slaying by far! I’ve not seen her in anything bad, to be honest, much like the English actor Christopher Eccleston.

HENRY’S CRIME (2010) features Keanu ‘wooden’ Reeves at his most stiffest and concrete, as if a smile would crack his face, along with Farmiga and the catalyst, James Caan. This cast I simply had to see. The result was me smiling fondly along for much of the movie, mostly because of just how bad Keanu is when he’s not up and down on those cables in The Matrix, and by bad I mean good, but in a bad way. He has perfected that dumb, vacant look, and Caan, who, to me, will always be the poor Paul Sheldon in Misery (1990), who perfected how to smile and look pleased while simultaneously fearing for his life, still pulls off those hilarious expressions. At one point Keanu arranges to pick him up from jail but then turns up without a car, suggesting the bus station, and Caan stares at him with as much disbelief as he does when Kathy Bates, as the deranged Annie Wilkes, decides to hobble him with an axe.

SOURCE CODE (2011) is a scorcher. Take it from me and listen to what I'm telling you. A scorcher. It’s all good. There doesn’t seem to be a beginning, middle or end, just a chunk of movie more or less all the same. Slammin’ viewing. Never seen anything that had me so engaged from the first shot when Jake Gyllenhaal appears on a train not knowing who he is (we’ve all been there eh?). It’s what I call a ‘situation’ movie, because it’s all about a character being caught in a situation. They have a different ‘arc’ than traditional movies. There’s no waiting around with them. Think Groundhog Day, with action, on steroids, and you’re in the ballpark. Was much better than expected. Mainly because of the fact that it was set on a moving train. The premise asks a little much, but if you can grasp the philosophical ‘brain in a jar’ argument, then no amount of sci-fi Hollywood storylines will ever throw you off. You know the one, that life is a computer simulation and all that.

If you are ever confused, just tell yourself that his brain is in a jar somewhere. It works with anything. I was lost within the very first 5 minutes of Inception, and with 142 minutes of running time left, it was either Di Caprio's brain in a jar or my head up my arse.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Hanna / Limitless

When I was first took by surprise with the trailer I thought it might be an advert for aftershave or something masquerading as a movie trailer. I thought this because it kind of looked too good to be true to be a movie. It looked hyper, if that makes sense. And, like the Inception trailer, I quickly switched over and made a mental note to watch it. Unlike Inception (2010), I didn’t fall asleep during the time I got around to watching it. It started with a writer down on his luck before completing a book in 4 days, so I was pleasingly and surprisingly gripped from the word go. Then the movie evolved, and had me from feeling comfortable about myself in the beginning to not so comfortable at the end. It really took me on a journey, this one did, and left me in considerable deep thought after it had ended, which probably hasn’t happened since Donnie Darko (2001). The unmistakeable sign of a cracker is when you are rewinding it as you watch along.

HANNA (2011)
With the one word title of someone’s Christian name, which is always a good sign, and the striking cover image below the names Eric Bana - Chopper (2000) and Cate Blanchett - Notes On A Scandal (2006), I had already seen enough after one glance at the dust jacket to know I was going to like this one. I was not disappointed after pressing play. There was too much choreographed fighting, which I detest unless it's used comically*, but like The Book Of Eli (2010), it was not enough to ruin the rest of a belting, truly cinematic movie. At one point, I may well have been watching an awesomely impresive adaptation of the last book I wrote (excluding short story collections), entitled The Violent Arsonist (girl grown and raised as an experiment in a special research facility). This phenomenon happens very rarely and it is a very rich natural-high experience when it does. The movie Slither (2006) was so identical at one point to my book Slithering Lake* (a man barricading himself into his bathroom during a mutation phase), that I am still half-convinced to this day that the content of one of my old hard drives fell into a movie director’s hands…

These, considering the types of movies I watch, are the absolute pick of the bunch at the moment. Best in a long time. I would have liked Hanna to be more like a book and continue to steer off on a tangent, instead of tapering to conventional Hollywood rules, but that’s asking for too much, and the reason why I hold independent films like Ink (2009) in such high regard. What horrified me as well is the fact that both Limitless and Hanna have their main male leads fighting off a gang of baddies in a subway station, Jason Statham style, which was either sheer coincidence or some producer somewhere financing multiple projects who has a very healthy appetite for underground subway station fights. Who knows? I don’t know how any industry works.

*See, they hardly even bothered changing the title.

*Imagine Phil Mitchell having matrix fights (cables and pulleys for his flying kicks etc) in EastEnders (also known as RearEnders or BellEnders).

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

No site is worthy of so much fiddling about. No blog deserves this patience. Need to concentrate elsewhere. Writing for an audience is 10x better than writing for thyself though. 10x better. I’m kind of bitten by the instant age we now live in. Will post a few movie reviews soon, if you’re interested. If not, you know where the gore sites are. There are plenty of people taking their last bloody breath on camera for your amusement, and even more desensitized racists leaving hateful comments beneath these tasteless videos. Happy clicking.

T’ra for now. Got to cook, wash up, train , write, draw, read, call my boss a flippin' idiot, and shoot a couple of cats before brunch. Oh, and inject cannabis into my big toe. Then have a conversation with my big toe. Coz I’m dope.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Symptoms of Loss

Just makes you sad and angry. Time as a healer is slower than slow, but it freakin flies when you’re having a good time. I’ve been lucky enough not to have lost someone dreadfully close to me too. How that must feel…wow, forget about it. Disaster and heartache sucks.

What I’m on about here is small fry compared to what some folk go through, but it still has me yelling and wanting to smash plates. I can’t help it. I felt like demolishing something just then. I pictured a washing line of glass panes hung up outside and me swinging at them with a baseball bat.

Yesterday the keyboard comes out and a tune gets done. About f**king four hours of f**king about. Record a bit, save it, listen to it, try and match it up, bin it, try again, tinker the volume, no good, start again, adjust the microphone, in and out of the chair, up and down, on and on, four hours.

Finally. Got it. Listen to it a couple of times. Bit more tinkering. Pull keyboard out again so I can sit down. Still not right. Push chair under desk so I can get keyboard in again. Every bleeding 2 minutes. Keyboard’s on a bloody ironing board by the way. This is just the tip of the iceberg. But ah, at last, nailed it. Listen to it a couple of times. Yeah, not bad.

Then gone. The whole thing. All my craft. Gone at the b*stard click of a b*stard button. Don’t ask me how.

What can you do? Curse and yell, naturally. But what then? Take a walk? Good idea. Cool off. Nail it when I get back. Know what to do now. Do it all again in about an hour. And I did. No probs. Told ya.

Today, June 5th. Different day, different song. Better song. 3 or 4 hours again. Go the garage. Finalise when back. Sorted. All done. On YouTube. Laughing. Oh wait. Something’s wrong. Oh yes, of course. Gone at the click of a button again. Layers and layers, sounds and effects, disappeared. All my craft.

8 hours in total, down the swanny. It’s not sat still either. It’s a stressful and frustrating trial and error process.

Start again tomorrow? Make it even better? Probably. But it won’t repair that despair in the pit of my gut. That loss. That howling void. Makes you punch walls.

At least it wasn’t 8 hours of writing. Now that would sting. Just think, there must be someone out there somewhere who has lost a whole book. Can you imagine that? Laying down your most intimate ideas, beliefs and experiences over a year, only to go lose it? The idea improved my mood, Schadenfreude, until it dawned on me that I actually knew a guy who had lost not just an entire book, and his very first at that, but his second book as well – Andrew darn Donegan!

I’d forgot about that. Them. Him.

^^^ Sad. ^^^ Angry.

I feel you bro.

Lock your car doors if you see me approaching. Big man coming. He ain’t a happy bunny.

Only Desire shepards us from DeathCradle of Filth

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Disclaimer: The views and language of Big Chest do not represent those of admin here at PIEBALD77

Big Chest couldn’t give a turd about anyone or anything other than his massive big chest. His only goal as a child was to pile slabs of striated beef across his pecs and he did exactly that. He would ask heavy men including bouncers and wrestlers how they got theirs and jot down their advices in his training journal. He recalls how when he became huge himself, with time, the younger generation would ask him questions too. Usually, he telleth youngsters to eat an armload of red meat every day and train like a wounded animal, but he never responds to stupid questions like HOW’S THE DIET GOING? WHAT CAN I DO FOR MY GLUTES? and WILL INJECTING WINSTROL INTO MY ERECTILE SHAFT GIVE ME A BETTER STONK ON?

Unlike virtually every other bodybuilder, Big Chest is open about steroid use. “I never injected,” he says, “because even looking at a needle makes me dizzy, but when you talk to me about pills, I would drop them by the handful. I ordered them online from a lab in Mexico. There was a picture of a mutant cow with muscles on the box. Within minutes I’d be tearing doors off the hinges just to see if I could, and snapping them in half over my knee. I tipped my neighbour’s Fiat Punto over once, and ripped my fiancĂ©’s duvet in half. Then I lay awake on the settee sweating all night, unable to sleep, hearing that insomnia song about one dry potato, the Faithless one in which he’s tearing off tights with his teeth, and my heart was pounding so much I would have the first two 9s of 999 already dialed on my mobile, with my finger waiting on the button for the third. There was a point when I was dialing the hospital every other night. I was calling ambulances like pizzas. And they always told me the same thing, to stop my crazy gym lifestyle and all that went with it.”

But true worthy champions never give up what they love and Big Chest is indeed the truest and the worthiest of true worthy champions; none more so than when he’s sat off down town in his tank top eating pork luncheon rolls. People gather round the behemoth and ask him to pose, like a trained ape.

“I remember my first photo-shoot for a magazine,” he says. “They gave me bermuda shorts and some sunglasses to put on. They wanted me to make a 20 pound dumbbell look heavy and smile as I did so. There was a guy with a squirty water bottle on hand to spray me with fake sweat. I was like man, get these mother**king c**ksuckers outta my sight, I don’t wear sunglasses when I train, are these crazy b*stards doolally or what? So they agreed to come back again and do it my way, with blood and guts and heavy-ass weights, only they turn around and tell me at the end of a grueling legs session that they'd run out of film, and hadn’t recorded my personal best set of intense high-rep heavy-breathing deep-knee-bend parallel barbell squats, which I hardly ever do because I'm so busy doing chest all the time. He hadn’t wanted to disturb me, was his excuse. I was lying down on the floor being sick when he asked could I go through it again if he went and grabbed some more film. Go through it again! Legs? Was he fecking mad or what man!”

Big Chest can be contacted for advice on how to build a big chest at bigchest@gmx.com

P.S (only 15 sheets for a signed photo)

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Moody Times...
How much does it cost to freeze your head so they can bring you back in the future? (Answer - more than I've got) Can they just freeze your brain and stick it behind someone else’s face? Can I have Tom Jones’ head (coz it has plenty of room inside) with Jean Claude Van Dickweed’s body (so I can slap people in the face with my feet?) How about you? Rodney Trotter’s legs?

I saw a white pigeon earlier. “Never in my life,” I said to myself. It was more like a dove. An albino. It must be an omen, I thought, a sign. Amen. An hour later I returned the same way and it was roadkill on the tarmac. FFS. These drivers will kill anything these days.

Here’s a recipe for peanut butter chicken I concocted earlier. Simply put 2 defrosted chicken breasts in a wok with at least a full jar of peanut butter (has to be smooth, crunchy would be disgusting) and leave on a low heat. Go to work, come home, and transfer the contents to a plate (you may need to hold the wok upside down and bang the bottom with a brick). Next, microwave on full power for 90 seconds. Serve with white rice. Brown rice? Again, disgusting.

Here’s a nice anger management tip. My favourite new catchphrase is: YOU F**KING STUPID TW*T. Saying this regularly throughout the day, if need be, really helps. If the autoplay on your stereo system doesn’t work, call it a f**king stupid tw*t. Call it your car, your phone, your TV, or indeed anything that pisses you off. I swear, this is working miracles for me. It’s so important to voice your emotions. Don’t let them bottle up. Pronounce each word clearly and distinctly. YOU F**KING STUPID TW*T. Note: calling another person this is immensely satisfying.

Another one, if you are feeling particularly decisive, is to address someone as HEY DICKHEAD. For example, you are in a shop and you are not certain if someone is in the queue or not, you may say HEY DICKHEAD, ARE YOU IN THE F**KING QUEUE OR NOT? Or HEY DICKHEAD, PASS ME A F**KING LION BAR. I’m not making this up. I’ve seen HEY DICKHEAD used many times by my boy Andrew Steel, of Widnes, and he wasn’t joking.

Why do some people stand about ten feet behind the till point when there’s a small queue? Has anyone ever noticed this sh*t? I feel like pushing them in the back. It’s courteous to give a person some space, but don’t stand off like they have the plague and force the queue back towards the door. People these days eh. More brains in sausages.

What kind of fackin moron runs over a white pigeon? Splat!!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Birkenhead Fingernail

What is the best nickname you have ever invented for somebody? Mine has to be THE BIRKENHEAD FINGERNAIL. It rolls off the tongue, like THE SCARLETT PIMPERNEL. I heard THE BIRKENHEAD FINGERNAIL mention THE SCARLETT PIMPERNEL once. He was exactly the kind of guy who talked about musicals.

He was a lanky middle-aged geezer who wore clothes that went out with the arc. His trainers were HI-TEC. I remember them well because I had a pair when I was a nipper, before my pair of blue PONY. They are so old that they have now come back into fashion. The same goes for GOLA and DUNLOP. These brands are back in bid'ness.

When all else fails in life the easiest thing to do is to resort to insulting people’s clothes and hair cuts. I saw a man with the worst spiky dyed-purple hairdo ever last Friday morning. For years I’ve had this joke were if I see someone I know with a new haircut I’ll say, “Who dunnit?” After they tell me, I’ll say, “Don’t worry, I’ll sort them out for you.” But with this guy I was genuinely interested in what careless perpetrator might be responsible.

Correct, I was tempted to ask an outright stranger who had cut his hair, and not in a flattering way. In a very shocked and appalled way. Thinking back, it looked like a DIY jobbie. And he looked like a maniac. One of those maniacs who produce kitchen knives from the inside pockets of CAPRI SKI JACKETS on the street and hack innocent lollypop ladies to pieces.

But let’s not regress from THE BIRKENHEAD FINGERNAIL. For some reason, in protest against his other nine normal fingernails, the pinkie one on his right hand had been left to grow to phenomenal proportions. He had just a single little fingered nail much longer than all the others. Plus, just in case no one noticed, it was black with grimy dirt as well. I recall he used to go out rambling all day. Mainly around Birkenhead, where he hailed from. Hence the nickname.

Oh and by the way, I saw someone dressing absolutely ridiculous in TK MAXX the other day. And I mean ridiculously ridiculous. Here are some of EMINEM’S lyrics, in the song MARSHALL MATHERS (track 11), on the MARSHALL MATHERS album:

Lookin for Big's killers,

dressed in ridiculous blue and red

like I don't see what the big deal is

Ever since I first heard this I associated blue and red (together) as leaning towards the ridiculous side of the spectrum when it comes to wardrobe colour coordination. It seemed to resonate with me during my bookish season when I was maturing from my all-black phase. Don’t hold me to this though. It’s Eminen’s idea, remember. I’m just saying…

This TK MAXX guy would have made EMINEM p*ss his pants. Seriously. He had red pants, blue top, and a bright yellow jacket to remove all doubt. I had to walk towards him head-on and pass him straight-faced. I actually turned around once he’d passed, stopped, pointed at him, and said aloud to myself, “That guy is dressing ridiculous.” I kid you not. He was that ridiculous.

I have a little more to say about yellow jackets, but that can wait till next time. Ciao douches. Donnie.