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Wednesday, 28 September 2011


If you’re in a bar and across the room a girl smiles at you, a beautiful girl with voluminous hair, blue eyes, full of the joyous possibilities that come with youth, the chances are she’s smiling at that guy Troy behind you.  Before you’ve realised this you’ve had your life affirming Inner Snow Patrol track tingling through your insides as for two seconds you remember what that feeling is that doesn’t happen too often. That powerful feeling that makes you look at the trousers you are wearing that you thought looked shit suddenly look ok again. That’s right it’s a feeling called love. Yay! Your return smile has turned into an inane toothy grin. Your attempt at a wave is bordering on a Nazi salute and In a panic you turn around inadvertently smothering yourself in Troy’s pecks. He doesn’t appreciate this (he does really, never trust pecks). Squawk like a duck and move on. Sure it’s upsetting that the girl that you did not know who was probably more than likely the “One” will now never talk to you.  But hey some times life throws you lemons. Make sure you take the lemons home and make yourself some lemonade, it’s generally frowned upon to make your own drinks in a bar, unless the bar staff are particularly unambitious.
            Now what makes Troy so great? He looks a bit plastic, and he doesn’t seem to have a lot to say, sure you are judging him simply based on appearance and the moments you spent in his chest but honestly that’s fine because Troy is an idiot. You on the other hand are a serious artist who feels great depths of emotion aka self-loathing. Ok so it’s been scientifically proven that self-loathing is not sexy and this is termed as a “turn off”, try and keep it in check. It’s one of the cruelties of the world that being self aware and ready for impending doom is not a desirable quality. This is why Troy without even being aware of what he is doing is a massive success, ignorance breed’s success; it’s a fact of the world... The trick to any good relationship is to never tell the truth. Everybody knows that. If you’re looking for someone to love you for who you are you will probably end up with an ape.  Troy can communicate with a few well-timed shrugs from his chiselled physique but like most of us you will need to pick out some words. It’s handy to have a variety of words. A professional chatter up man will have at least twelve different words at his disposal, not including the joining up words.  It’s rarely appropriate to use the word hate in this situation so that’s one word you can eliminate from needing to know if that makes things easier. So when Troy has got his drink and moved on because he is so ignorant he has failed to realise this amazing lady is ready to pounce on him, brace yourself. You’re going to make your move.
Leave your drink at the table, that way it will be less obvious your shaking.  Now go and get all the information out in as pithy a way possible. It’s important to get her sympathy quickly; sympathy is a key to many longstanding relationships. You also want to look distraught over something; girls like a project, but you also want to look strong, like you can hold down a mortgage. Remember you don’t need to tell the truth. You head to the bar and before she has even acknowledged you say this.
“I can’t believe my Horse died today, still at least my cat’s ok in the house I just paid the mortgage payment for on time”.
Now move on. She is so consumed by the information Troy is all but a distant memory now, you have cast your spell. I mean your Horse just  died! Suddenly Troy’s perfectness just makes him look spoilt. You can’t argue with true love, it will always find it’s way, and now it’s found you.
When you meet at the corner of some moonlit street with intrepedation filling the air, for you are both about to start what may become a pivotal chapter in the rest of your lives it’s advisable to not bring a Watermelon as a gift. It’s too big. If you do, at least insist on carrying it. It doesn’t matter if it’s for her. YOU carry it.

We can deal with those issues later, when you have mastered the first bit.


Friday, 23 September 2011



I'll probably drag this out and make it into a film.


What did the Horse Whisperer say to the Camel?
“Alright Mate I’m the Horse Whisperer”

What did the Camel Say to the Horse Whisperer?
“I’m not a horse"

What did the Horse Whisperer say to the Camel?
“This job ain’t easy”

What did the Camel say to the Horse Whisperer?
“How did you get into this line of work anyway?”

What did the Horse Whisperer say to the Camel?
“I’m trying to get over a girl”

What did the Camel say to the Horse Whisperer ?
“I don’t see the correlation”

What did the Horse Whisperer say to the Camel
“I guess it’s nice to be understood, and to feel like you made a connection, with someone”

What did the Camel say to the Horse Whisperer?
“Yeah but a Horse?”

What did the Horse Whisperer say to the Camel
“You can’t help who"gets you"

What did the Camel say to the Horse Whisperer
“Are you sure they get you?”

What did the Horse Whisperer say to the Camel?
“Yeah I feel like they really do”

What did the camel say to the Horse Whisperer?
“Look there is a Horse!”

What did the Horse whisperer say to the Camel?
“Oh I see the difference now, well I guess I got work to do”

What did the Horse say to the Horse Whisperer?
“I’m sorry what?”

Monday, 19 September 2011


So you've chosen a life as a poet huh? We can't all be poets you know. Some of us have got what it takes and some of us doesn't.
  I'm sorry, what can I say? I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones. If we were all good enough to be poets no one would be up to turn on the self checkout machines in Tesco's. Then the world would explode. I mean yeah, I can appreciate it's annoying for you that not only can I connect with the human psyche so naturally and tell you exactly how to feel, but I also have the balls and fighting skills to smash in any fool who upsets my woman. I can see that, it seems unfair, but you will find your "special purpose" and if your lucky it won't be minimum wage. Anyway if you are going to take the misguided step and try, here are some examples of award winning poetry. I won the best poet in my house in the early hours of Monday morning prize. My flatmate Jon is going to present me the prize in the morning when I tell him I won it.

                                              Do You Want To Go and Feed The Ducks

                                                                      They said
                                                  “Your so funny, don't go changing”
                                                                         I said
                                                     “Ok, but I don't feel that great”
                                                                     They said
                                       “we know, but that's what makes you so funny”
                                                                         I said
                                              “Ok, do you want to go feed the ducks?”
                                                                      They said
                                                                     “Not today”

                                                                  I Went To Ikea Once

                                                                    I went to Ikea once
                                                            I bought a hot dog, and a coffee
                                                                The coffee was crazy hot,
                                                                I put ketchup on the hotdog
                                                                         and mustard
                                                                      or at least I think...
                                                                        It was mustard
                                                                       It was white 
                                                                    I ate the hot dog............
                                                                  in silence..........................
                                                                        next to a man
                                                                     eating a hot dog in …...
                                                                      I cursed the coffee
                                                                       It was crazy hot
                                                             I wouldn't be drinking that for an hour.
                                                              I walked through the ailes of Ikea
                                                                           I looked at rugs
                                                                               and candles
                                                                        and bathroom scales
                                                                             and I thought
                                                                                   one day,
                                                                    one day I will have a house.


                                                                       Bad Director

                                                            I have dreams when I'm awake
                                                           They are better when I'm awake
                                                         I have full editorial control on them
                                               The guy directing my dreams when I'm asleep
                                                                           He's a dick

                                                            A Conversation I'm Having

                                 “Did you learn your lesson?”
                                                                                     I made the same mistake again

                                                  “well, that happens”
                                                                                        all the time
                     “well, as long as your always learning”

                                                                                         yeah but
                                                                                         clearly I'm not?

                                                                     “Ok, Bye”

Ok so now you know how it's done, guess I'll see you at the next poets read off. Goodnight. x

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Dear my Best Friend

           I don't know who you are yet because this is the future, and we haven't actually lived it out, and so I apologise for not being more descriptive with the name bit at the top of this letter. I'm sure you can appreciate “best friend” to be a weighty accolade and for that reason I have chosen to not waste it willy nilly. So if you find yourself reading this, then it's you. As you know I am a very serious person, and I say and do what I mean. Which is why I do very little, though thinking about it I say a lot. So perhaps some discrepancies may prove apparent when you trace back through my life. If you're reading this then yes I'm dead. I'm not happy about it either, to be honest i'm pissed off.
                I mean I was probably just sitting, just sitting and then poof I was gone. In a slow release gust of air, like releasing the air from a tyre. Not even a balloon which at least would have me do one last bit of flapping about before smashing into a wall. I was probably sat on the sofa watching David Dickinson's Real Deal. If this is the case can we please say I was in the middle of Fitzcarraldo. I've been meaning to watch a Herzog film for twelve years and let's face it knowing my luck I would have probably passed away the moment I finally got round to watching it. Typical. Also please  remove the Twiglets, the bag is probably finished so just discard the evidence. No one needs to know about another's snacking. While I remember I should say I really appreciate you organising all this for me, I'm presuming my children are too successful and upset to be able to cope with giving me a fitting send off. You were always the one who knew me best and if your a girl I'm sorry if I ever squeezed your boobs,or even thought about doing it.
         Here I have laid out the finer details for the event to make sure you too can enjoy what will be a memorable occasion. Remember chin up, and try and enjoy what is meant to be a festival of life.

9.00am ...Arrive at cemetery. Be greeted by a juggler. I could never juggle. It's a fun word juggle and people don't usually say it at funerals. It will instantly lift the mood. Stand in line and get your face painted. I haven't actually spoken to the Face Paint people, but I'm hoping they can do a deal on funerals. There will be no restrictions on what face you choose. Except no sad clown faces, and no Elephants. My boy once asked for an Elephant and it doesn't really work. It kinda ends up looking like a giant penis on the side of your face. This isn't the occasion for that kind of toilet humour.

10.00am ...Breakfast will be served. I don't want to have peoples stomaches grumbling through the show. Hire a Hot Dog Vendor, make sure he has sauerkraut, and sauce. Also make sure he/she is well hidden behind a tree, all will be made apparent shortly.

10.15 ...We will gather by my tombstone. Times have been tough recently and to pay for it I had to get sponsorship so don't be alarmed by the McDonald's golden arches symbol that's been engraved into the stone. I agreed to that, though I did fight my corner and refused permission of the words “I'm lovin it” being written below. You would have been proud of me then. I really stood my ground there... and now I'm in the ground...Brilliant.
It's difficult to choose what would be a suitable song for the coffin going down. You can't really beat the emotional punch of Journey's “Don't Stop Believing” it truly is magnifique. Celine Dion's “My Heart Will go on” also feels like it has a suitably apt sentiment for the occasion.

11.00...Let my Uncle do his “Pick a card any card trick”, he needs the practice and an audience. disco

12.00...A man dressed as Ronald McDonald, hopefully the real Ronald McDonald will arrive to serve lunch. Happy Meals for everyone. Make sure your not all fobbed off with the same toys. Place the trays on top of the Tombstone a member of staff will be round to collect it later. I'm not sure how I feel about allowing McDonalds to sponser this party, I have to be honest about that. I grew up with Kurt Cobain teaching me to say no to advertising at all costs, (not that anyone was asking me), but nothing seems to really matter anymore and people forget about stuff anyway. So with the money I saved I bought myself an Ipad and took it down with me. You know, in case I wake up. Or reform, Or whatever might happen in the further future. I bought the most hi tech one so I won't be too out of the loop and able to catch up with eveything.

13.00...I've allocated an hour for lunch, but a McDonald's shouldn't really take you more than three minutes to eat. So I suppose just talk amongst yourselves. Transport should arrive to take you to the Bethnal Green branch  where they have specially cordoned off an area for a slide show. Pick yourself up a drink and help yourself to a complimentary straw. I'm very pleased with the show I have put together, It is entitled “Things I Thought I might do” half of it is stills from Fitzcarraldo, but don't worry there is a spoiler alert.

Ok now go to the pub.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

How To Be A Great Single Parent -3 - How To Make Friends

photography by Jon Baker

             It's an Urban myth that all single parents meet at karaoke bars. Some of them go swimming. I've been thumbing through my book “Be A Great Single Parent” now for a few weeks and I've read a few sentences, and can confirm that the book is correct. Not every performer at the Karaoke bar I went to was a single parent. In fact I got the feeling maybe I was the only one. Regardless I stood firm and emoted with a heartbreaking and dare I say it inspirational rendition of that song off Glee. When it ended I looked up into the empty room. I was definitely the only single parent in this Karaoke bar. I looked into the stage lights which momentarily blinded me, bringing with it a sense of disorientation. “Is there anyone out there” I said as I tried to get my sight back. In the distance I heard a mans voice. “No” he said. It must have been the swimming day.
           As I walked home I thought to myself “what am I doing?” Do I really want to find another single parent who shares the same confusions and problems that I face? Someone I could talk to and would accept the weight of my responsibilities, because she would be faced with the same issues. No way. That sounds frumpy. I'm still young(I'm not) I still have some hope for the future(I don't). I'm still hip with the kids (I still dress like a child). Then my thoughts went back to the cashier at the Bookshop where I bought the book Teach Yourself How To Be A Great Single Parent. I may have mentioned her in previous instalments. She definitely looked like she felt sorry for me when I placed the book in her hands. If your playing the long game to a ladies heart, this probably isn't a bad start. At least she feels something. So I thought maybe I will head back there. Before the momentum is totally lost.
        You see it's not easy to meet new people when you're a single parent, people are usually outside and you will find you spend most of your time inside. Rarely do they just knock on the door. Sometimes they do but usually they want to read your gas meter, and they rarely seem to want to stick around once they've done it. This is why the internet becomes such a useful tool for making friends. Luckily I have my trusty handbook and I have studied the chapter, “How To Make Friends On The Internet”. Good thing too because apparently it's a dangerous world. Who knew you were not supposed to give your address out in the initial exchanges. My trademark introductory line of “Hi I'm Babak I live at number 5 Winkley street, where do you live ?” is now made virtually redundant. It goes on to warn you that people in cyberspace are not real friends, they are virtual friends, and in the virtual world people who say they are Barbara might really be Syd. When you arrange to meet Barbara and Syd shows up he will probably try and fob off the surprise as a misunderstanding due to his inability to speed type. To be honest as useful as it sounds it could be it starts to feel more trouble than it's worth. The book suggests that instead of actually talking to virtual people perhaps use the internet to look up a nice salsa dancing or pottery class. It doesn't suggest going back to the bookshop and trying to have a conversation with the lady that might pity you.
          Now I'm not saying that, that's what I did, I don't want anybody getting the wrong idea here. All I'm saying is if you do go back into the shop while your mum and child sit in the car waiting, look assertive. If you know where things are in the shop head straight for self help and find a copy of Teach Yourself How To Chat Up Woman, give it a once over and avoid getting caught reading it. Don't do this.

Handsome Stranger: “How hot is your coffee?”
Lady with Pity: “It was hotter before”
Handsome Stranger: “It's cooled over time”
Lady with Pity: “Yes it has”

There's nowhere you can go from here. If you have a moustache you can shave and try again. If you don't you can grow one and try again, but this way round takes a little longer.

It's not easy being alone when you're not really alone, you have your child and he is your primary focus. It's hard to be free, easy and available. There are single people growing and shaving moustaches on a daily basis asking girls out who can actually go out. The other single parents will understand this. So maybe ask your mum if she can stay in the car with your child for a few more hours. Head back to the karaoke bar and listen to another broken mans rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” and gently weep to yourself. When he is finished give him a hug take the mic and break out “Waterloo”.
Hopefully he will stick around till you finish.