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Sunday, 28 July 2013


                                                                     The Duck

“Dad, what is that?”
I stared at the orange beak, I checked for feathers, I traced back through my tele-visual history and within literal seconds I replied. “That is a Duck”. The Goose looked at me with the kind of disdain that suggested if this was the sixties and he was my wife I would not be getting my dinner tonight. That was fine by me. Ever since the break up I’d become pretty attuned to preparing my own dinners. To my good fortune my favourite meal was cheese. Nothing says “I’m a successful independent being” than placing a brick of cheese on a plate, a knife and fork only exaggerates the point.

“Look Dad! Rowing boats! Let’s get one?” It was clear to me my child had no respect for life. In my thirty four years I had not died once.  A small part of that I would credit to avoiding paying eight pounds to spend half an hour in a plastic tank balancing on top of a world which did not accommodate my preferred means of breathing. Where had we gone wrong in raising him that at five he would be so keen to risk throwing it all away? “Me, mum and Jim got one of these last week, it was epic” he said.
I paid the boat man the eight pounds.

 “I’m a good father”, I thought to myself. Well, I thought I thought it to myself, it turned out I thought it out loud for the boat man replied with a defensive “ok”. As if I thought he thought I thought I was underachieving as a parent and trying to convince myself I wasn’t. By getting on a boat I didn’t want to get on for the sake of my child so that he would think I was just as good as Jim. Perhaps this was all true except for the bit where I thought I was failing. I’m not failing. Though in the near distance I could see that Duck behind a shrub giving me evils, I don’t know what it’s problem is with me but I bet he thinks I’m failing…
I’m not.

This is what it’s all about, making memories, doing things we don’t want to do together. The boy’s going to remember this in years gone by. I’m doing well I thought, this time in my head as I ran my fingers through my beard. I had a pretty good beard. I put it down to my mum having taught me to shave. I also have pretty smooth legs. I put this down to the same reason. It’s not that my dad was unattentive, it’s just that he was never around. And when he was he needed his private time. However if we passed in the corridors he always made a point of saying  “hello” and I respected him for that.

                                                                     Boat sticks

I picked up the two Boat sticks that help the boat move. Arthur told me that Jim told him they were called Oars. It’s a humbling experience when you realise your child will know things that you don’t. It’s worse  when you realise your five year old already knows things you don’t. Although I’d got this far not knowing that these sticks were called oars and I still managed to get a Fine Arts Degree.  I congratulated Arthur on his knowledge, but told him it’s ultimately not the kind of information that will be of any consequence in the real world. Why clog the brain with Trivia?
Like riding a bicycle I understood the motions required to move us, but like riding a bicycle gravity got in the way. The boat sticks had a life of their own, and the water seemed like mud. Once I’d force them out of it, it would come as such a surprise there was no composure to do anything other than throw them back in. We didn’t move much. A bit to the left, a little to the right. If you looked in the direction of that contemptuous duck and the clear expanse of water we could pretend we were gliding slowly to a new world. A very small turn of the head and the Boat man’s shoe in the corner of my eye would rudely remind us, we were on shore.
Arthur who was sat opposite on his own sighed. I shall treasure these moments, disappointing this cute button nosed child. It won’t get better than this. One day he will be a stubbly youth to disappoint,  asking to borrow money, and my reply will be “I was hoping I could borrow some from you”. These were good times. I took comfort in some words a drunk man had once said to me “however bad you think things are, they are only ever going to get worse”. He was a smart drunk guy. I pretended my phone was ringing and answered it. How could I move a boat when there was a business call to take?

                                                            The Phone Call
“Yes it’s me”
“This is a really bad time, I’m rowing a boat”
“What do you mean they want a new draft of the manuscript”
I liked the fact that I used the word manuscript, Arthur may only be five, but I could tell he perked up when he heard the word too. Neither of us really know what it means. His smile collided with what must have been a passing cloud as a darkness came over us. Still there was a smile on the boys face so I continued with the show.
“They want to publish it as a novel?...But I’m not writing a novel”…
The boat began to gently rock as somebody seemed to clamber on. Arthur seemed happy. I turned around. Bloody hell it’s Jim. What is he doing on the boat? I thought with the phone strapped to my face. Jim gave a gentle smile and nod.
“They’re talking Movie rights, that’s crazy!”
I moved over to Arthur’s side of the boat. I was going to stay on the phone to my agent for as long as it took for me to work out what to do next. I made an I’m listening noise.
“uh hmmm”
Jim picked up the boat sticks and started moving them in a cyclical flowing motion. That’s how you do it I noted to myself. We were off. Gently gliding towards that obnoxious Duck. I bet Jim is taking me to him on purpose. I realised I’d not been talking to my agent who wasn’t on the phone for a while.
“Listen I have to go, I’m rowing a boat, this all sounds good, let’s do lunch”.
I knew I had done my stint on the phone but I had not thought of how I was to address the situation I was in. Should I ask Jim to split the eight pound hire charge of the boat. Technically he has both the sticks so he owes the full amount. We’re just sitting here, bored. I should be the bigger man and let him have his fun.

Arthur leaned his head out the side of the boat, he skimmed his fingers on the top of the water so lightly it barely made an impression. I wished he didn’t find it so interesting as it just left me staring at Jim. I had nothing to say to Jim. Well I had so much to say it all cancelled itself out. We just sat there facing each other, like two of the shittest mirrors in the business. All my failings were projected onto his face and as he rode I’m sure all my failings were projected on my face too . I looked at Arthur and hoped he’d do something that would require parenting but he was fine skimming the water with his fingertips. I considered pushing him in, just to save him, then I remembered swimming isn’t my strong point. Again Jim would probably come out of this the hero.
“Look dad I can see us all in the water” our three distorted reflections gently gliding together and in the corner the beak of a duck who refused to butt out of this sensitive situation. “It’s like we are all in a giant bath together” Arthur remarked. The last place I wanted to be was in a bath with Jim. I did not want to think about that scenario.
“It could be a soup” I replied. I don’t know why this was better. I guess as ingredients we would become individuals. Sure maybe we would still be working together for the same cause, but at least that wouldn’t be getting clean together.
“But if it would be a soup, it would be hot and it we would all be burning and our skin would slowly come off”
“it’s  a Gazpacho”
Jim nodded.
The duck quacked.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

My Year as a Film Producer (on Twitter)

FILM IDEA: I"LL BE BACH" Meta Drama in which Scwarzeneger plays himself trying to win the role of the German Composer in a biopic

FILM IDEA: UNDERCOVER GOTH: a goth goes undercover to solve a crime

FILM IDEA: CAN"T STOP DANCING: A man can't stop dancing...A Hi-Octane Dance movie (think Crank meets Strictly Ballroom)

FILM IDEA: ONE LAST BANG: on the day of her retirement a prostitute unwittingly takes on a schizophrenic client

FILM IDEA: DETECTIVE SHIT: He's a Detective, with an unfortunate name

FILM IDEA: MIDDLE AGED SPREAD: A man in a mid life crisis joins a gymnastics team

FILM IDEA: LADY'S INTUITION: detective Derrick Lady is called in to solve a crime cos he has the best intuition.


FILM IDEA:UNDERCOVER LOVER BROTHER: A detective pretends to be a woman's lost brother while on a secret job romance sizzles what's he to do?

FILM IDEA: PRIME SINISTER:the Prime Minister is bitten by a vampire and changes currency to virgin blood Position in Europe lies in tatters

FILM IDEA: DON'T TAKE THEM OFF: A strippers life is rocked when she is diagnosed with being Invisible

FILM IDEA: DARTS OF WAR: When the entire missile unit of the U.S.A is taken out in a dubious war they call on Phil Taylor to aim some shots

FILM IDEA: THUNDER STRIKE:an umbrella sales man is called into action when a thunderstorm hits a telecommunication office.

FILM IDEA: SEX THREAT: When a man on a phone sex call is taken hostage in his own home, the sex worker has to operate as a negotiator

FILM IDEA: Mistaken Security: in a terrible mix up a swimming pool life guard is hired by the FBI to protect the president of the U.S.A

FILM IDEA: THE POET: A poet wreaks vengeance upon the publishers that turned down his novella. Wordy thriller starring Gerard Butler

FILM IDEA: THE PAT BENATAR STORY: the biopic of a man who was unfortunately named Pat Benatar after the successful 80's female artist

FILM IDEA: NO WAY OUT: After successfully breaking out of prison, a felon gets lost on the tube.

FILM IDEA: COLD TURKEY: Misunderstanding the concept, A crack addict shoots up while waiting for his Turkey to cool down. Jack Black stars

FILM IDEA: THE BACK PASSAGE: keanu reeves discovers his back door leads to the garden of his teenage home where he reconnects with his dad

FILM IDEA: LOCKED OUT: Macauley cullin reprises his role as Kevin but this time he's locked out. A crazy time in the suburbs ensues

FILM IDEA: THE BEAST WITHIN: A Michelin Starred Chef battles with an ongoing flirtation with canniblism. Thriller starring Steven Segal

FILM IDEA: BAD GOOD COP: He's a good cop, but he's shit at his job

FILM IDEA: remake of the Bruce Willis classic Blind Date. But this time an insecure man is set up on a date with a blind woman

FILM IDEA: A retired cop is reinstated back to work to help track down a retired murderer
FILM IDEA: WOOD COP BAD COP: a ventriloquist and his dummy go undercover to avenge the death of a graphic designer

FILM IDEA: I'll meet you in five minutes later: time travelling rom com about a mans troubles with online dating

FILM IDEA: HARD BALL: Julia Roberts stars as the fastest prostitue in the business. She's really hard to get.

FILM IDEA: DIRTY JESUS: Reworking of Dirty Harry starring Gerard Butler

FILM IDEA: DIE HARD 6: A Onesie in a million: While Bruce Willis tries on a onesie in a shopping mall. Terrorists strike.

FILM IDEA: HANDS OFF MY DOG: a man grows increasingly jealous of his girlfriends devotion to his dog.

FILM IDEA: 20 years since the Sixth Sense Joel Haley Osment's character joins the Ghostbusters

FILM IDEA: A Schizophrenic is put on the Witness Protection Program after witnessing a murder it turns out he committed... Taut Thriller

FILM IDEA: PANCAKE DAY: A Heist goes terribly wrong, and it's Pancake Day !#pancakes
FILM IDEA: A Psychiatrist decides he needs to see a psychiatrist who in turn suggests he talk to himself in front of a mirror

FILM IDEA: MR DISASTER: A man falls in love with a Brick Wall

FILM IDEA: Title for Jason Statham project...STANDARD BASTARD

FILM IDEA: A Murder Mystery starring a detective who is also a horny Monk, called HONK

FILM IDEA: A found footage film about a guy who finds a copy of the Blair Witch Project then watches it.

FILM IDEA: AUNTI CLIMAX: reworking of Uncle Buck starring Megan Fox

FILM IDEA: PIMP MY BRIDE: unbeknownst to his future wife a man hires her out to a pimp to pay for a dream honeymoon

FILM IDEA: THE HIPPY PROSTITUTE: A hippies notions of free love are confused when moves to the city and realises the rent prices on a bedsit

FILM IDEA: THE TERMINATOR VS THE HOBBIT: A Robot goes back in time to fight Bilbo Baggins and win an engagement ring for Sarah Conner

FILM IDEA: Chicken Nugget City. . . That's it so far
FILM IDEA: biopic of Michael McIntyre starring Sean penn

FILM IDEA: PRIVATE DETECTIVE HORSE: A Horse finds it difficult to keep himself discreet working undercover in Chicago.

FILM IDEA: WHAT THE F**K: In the future a man travels back in time to day of his birth punches out the doctor delivering and steals himself

FILM IDEA: BRINGING SEXY BACK: A bounty hunter is hired to find an inappropriately named child who goes missing on a school skiing trip

FILM IDEA: The Coked Director: A director with a coke problem demands everyone say everything faster at all times.

FILM IDEA: A Detective trying to find himself, hires himself, to find out about himself

FILM IDEA: a war veteran returns home and opens a laser quest

FILM IDEA: a couple of actors who have been playing a happily married couple in a soap 4 over 20 years hire the same guy to kill each other

FILM IDEA: POT POURRI A struggling single mother of three starts to sell Pot Pourri on the downlow to make ends meet. (think Breaking Bad)

FILM IDEA: A CALYPSO NOW!: A young brat is taught the world does not revolve around him when on a boarding school trip to Gaza.

FILM IDEA: I-I-I Lo-Lo-Love Y-Y-You: two people with extreme stutters fall in love in what critics are calling a frustrating romance

FILM IDEA: movie adaptation of A Very Hungry Caterpillar starring Jack Black

FILM IDEA: A film about Charlie Kaufman coming up with the idea for Being John Malkovich with Charlie Kaufman playing the Jonhn Cusack role
FILM IDEA: A man quits his job in middle management to count every tree in the world, on travels he meets a hot lady who works at a paper

  • · 
FILM IDEA: THE TIME DIFFERENCE: A couple try make best of a long distance relationship, but struggle with THE TIME DIFFERENCE

FILM IDEA: A married man has an affair with a married man (that's right it's 3.30am I don't stop)

FILM IDEA: THE 40 YEAR OLD INTERN VIRGIN: Similar to the 40 Year old virgin but this guy is also an intern

FILM IDEA: THE DISHWASHER: A dishwasher in a small restaurant decides to reap revenge when he is replaced with an actual dishwasher

FILM IDEA: DOGS IMITATING LOVE : the guide dog of a revered blind art critic falls in love with a hapless new gallerist

FILM IDEA: A man forgets his girlfriends birthday and buys her a lottery ticket as a last ditch present. She wins £50,000 and dumps him

FILM IDEA: OWL MAN: A man realises he has the super power of staying up all through the night and revolving his head 360 Degrees

FILM IDEA: THE TROUBLES WITH BEING YO MAMMA: a man called yo mamma gets a hard time whenever he's asked what his name is. (Flimsy premise)

FILM IDEA: WOMAN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDANCE: a single mother takes up an adults breakdancing Course. Life lessons are learnt

FILM IDEA: MIXED BAG: A schizophrenic lives a dangerous life when it becomes apparant one of his personalities is allergic to nuts.

FILM IDEA: TOUR DAD: a mid life crisis man decides to tour manage a band for a road trip and relearn how to party. Everybody learns a lesson

FILM IDEA: whilst on holiday superman and Lex Luther have a luggage mix up at the airport meaning they have to wear each others clothes...

FILM IDEA: THREE TIMES A LADY; a man falls in love with a lesbian and so has a sex change in an attempt to win her over.

FILM IDEA: Historical screwball comedy about the first man to ever get drunk

FILM IDEA: a man wakes to find his penis has been replaced with another mans. Think face off but with peniseses