Have you noticed that…?

Thanks to power steering, hardly anyone crosses over their hands when turning the wheel of a car anymore? Can you remember the movement I mean? It used to be one of the major faults on the driving test and everyone did it. Left over right, right over left, dragging the wheel towards you as you leant your weight to exert the maximum possible pressure. But almost no one uses the technique these days. Like the chimps in 2001: A Space Odyssey we have evolved. Thanks to hydraulics. The future through technology. I remember trying to turn my mother’s ‘G’ registered Micra on the Four Lane Ends in Mapplewell back in about 1990. The Inspiral Carpets’ Life album playing on the tape deck, wondering how Bobby Robson’s lads were going to get on in Italia. Making that ninety degree turn from Towngate onto Spark Lane, I felt like I was working the wheel on the Hoover Dam, trying to hold back 9.2 trillion gallons of water. It was engineering that was still in touch with Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Robert Stevenson. Now I can use one hand to easily and effortlessly turn the wheel of almost any modern car. A technique amply demonstrated by HGV drivers the world over; the other hand wrestling with the end of some gaffer tape and a feisty hitchhiker.

But evolution is not always good. It doesn’t always reap rewards. Like Penguins losing the ability to fly or Robbie Williams making it onto his hind legs and grabbing hold of a microphone. Sometimes evolution takes us places we don’t expect and didn’t plan to go. Like Yeovil. And on that subject, just think what Satellite Navigation could do to us. I was speaking to an Italian last week who told me that he found it difficult to drive in the UK because he couldn’t see the sun. Devo vedere il grande globo dorato nel cielo per fare il mio senso da Barnsley a Huddersfield. In a generation we will all be like that Italian thanks to our ridiculous over-dependence on Sat Nav. Through reverse evolution we will become like blind moles stumbling through a world we don’t understand, relying on unreliable technology to take us from A to B without appreciating in anyway the points between. But at least we’ll be able to turn the wheels of our cars easily when we drive heedlessly into Thurnscoe, announcing cheerfully to the rest of our passengers that we’re almost at Alton Towers. Hey everybody, get ready for some fun…

Things I hate #12

Peter Sutcliffe DJ

DJs. Now as a species all DJs, it has to be said, are annoying twats. There’s the wedding reception type with more cheese than a hobo’s knob, about fifteen years behind the times, with a gut straining under the tight shirt, and a hairdo straight out of the Keith Harris style-book. He’s always got some record ‘in his back pocket’ that’s guaranteed to get the room moving. Usually something by either Boney M or Bucks Fizz. And if all else fails he’ll break the glass on the Jive Bunny ‘mash up’. He’s bound to play Chumbawumba at some point. ‘Summer of 69’s going to be in there. And ‘Build me up buttercup’ will get people up and twisting. Twats to a man. Then there’s the Ibiza/Oakenfold Superstar DJ with an ego that’s only matched by the cocaine intake. This is a career path for the musically inept but artistically ambitious who wish to slip stream their way to achievement and easy riches. Eg. Peaches Geldof, Coleen Rooney, Tim ‘motherfucking’ Westwood. Enough said. A gallery of flange. But the genus that annoys me the most is the broadcast DJ. Fuck. I hate those cunts. Fucking hate them. The first thing to be written on any broadcast DJ’s CV is ‘I am a supercilious twat.’


I only ever listen to the radio in the car, or in some drunken stupor when I browse the TV into the uncharted white spaces beyond Babe Station (a hugely underrated channel) and into the realms of KISS FM, Radio 1, Real FM etc. Radio 1 seems to have narrowed its target audience to a group of seventeen year olds driving around in a Citroen Saxo at 10:00PM of a Saturday night. The station now reminds me of some Stanley Kubrick loop. A radio station that is being broadcast by a soulless humanoid aping the interests and mannerisms of mankind without empathizing in anyway with them and playing the latest song by 50 Cent to an empty and toxic universe. Everyone has left the room. No one is listening. And every station has the same tasteless homogeny. I had the radio on while I was driving somewhere at work the other day and was confronted by some mid-morning female DJ who seemed to be a kind of watered down version of Sara Cox’s laddette but a decade and a half too late. She said something along the lines of: ‘I went out to the pub last night, cos that’s the kind of crazy totally ridiculous life I lead, I mean going to the pub and doing crazy things like that, mental, and I got to the pub and saw Jamie Cullum playing darts with Mark Ronson, because we’re just like real people, only with more interesting lives and more money. And much more attractive. And Mark Ronson hummed me his new single which, believe me, is absolutely banging and will be such a massive hit, and deservedly so. He’s such a nice bloke and a real fucking genius at picking out those songs to cover. And do you know what I did? You’ll never guess. Never in a million years. Had a think about it? Given up? I had – wait for it, because this will crack you up, this will have you rolling on the floor in hysterics until you crack all your ribs, this will have you defecating yourself in uncontrollable hilarity – I had some dry roasted peanuts. I know, what a crazy madcap fucking life I lead. I’m just one insane motherfucking bitch.’ The end. I actually looked at the radio, expecting more. A cherry on top. Booya. Nothing. The story not even livened up with an anaphylactic shock. Where her neck swelled up to the size of a fat bird’s thigh and Fern Cotton had to perform an emergency tracheotomy using a sharpened piece of dry organic Perciatelli. No, just that she bought some dry roasted peanuts. That was it. Well, shine on, you crazy fucking diamond.


The radio seems over-stocked with twats. Like Chris Moyles. Moylesy. The Moylster. Moylesertronic. The fat cunt. Other than being a fat bastard what exactly has Chris Moyles got going for him? Every time he speaks he sounds like he’s midway through a bar of Dairy Milk. Which he probably is. You can hear it spittling on his lips. And Ken Bruce over on Radio 2 has to be the most boring man in the history of the world. He patronises the listener with his drab Scottish monotone that drones on and on and fucking on like a dying set of bagpipes rambling pointlessly and with a true bastard’s certainty about absolutely bugger all. Ken Bruce’s voice is Aberdeen. Gray and cold and totally inhospitable. His fifteen hour mid-morning programme is like one long, compelling advert for the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas. He is appalling. ‘And I’ve had a letter from Glynis in Arbroath who’s knitted me a new wank sock. Thanks, Glynis, you daft old bitch, I tried it during Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ and it’s a lovely snug fit. But next time can I have one in blue?’ If only – if fucking only – he had been around in 1938. We could have sent him to negotiate at the Munich Conference. He’d have bored the Nazis into capitulation and saved seventy million lives in the process. He’d have made Neville Chamberlain look like Whackaday’s Timmy Mallet stuffed to the tonsils on amphet and Haribo. The Bruce: ‘Well, Adolf, did you know that Cliff Richard has had a number one in every decade since 1870 and he has a really nice backhand that you have to experience to appreciate?’ Hitler would have taken out the revolver and bitten down on the cyanide six years early. Anything just to escape. He’d have hurled himself off the Berghoff to his death gladly, holding hands in a daisy chain with the rest of the Third Reich High Command. I know this myself as I’ve been there, driving along the Eccleshall Road in Sheffield, contemplating unclunk-clicking my seat belt, getting my foot down and deliberately driving head on into the nearest tram as Ken went into some painfully pointless story about soap after he’d coaxed me into his show with ‘I am the Walrus’ as I was browsing the airwaves. Then there’s wacky Steve Wright. Crazy guy. A renegade. Steve Wright who is such a smug cunt it beggars belief. It was Wright that pioneered the idea – like Roald Amundsen traipsing to the South Pole in order to write James and the Giant Peach – of the DJ broadcasting with a ‘posse’. Cutting edge stuff. I bet James Watson and Francis Crick wished they’d come up with that instead of figuring out DNA. Ah, a posse, where I sit in a room with a set of vacuous cunts broadcasting my humourless meanderings to an indifferent nation… Eufuckingreka. In other words the DJ expressing their own ego at the centre of their own universe, surrounded by arse-rimming, shit-swallowing sycophants who orbit them like dead dogs in defunct Russian satellites. A technique that reached its zenith in Chris Evans meltdown in 1997. And as for the ‘posse’, you have to ask yourself, is that really a job? Is that the reason your parents brought you into the world, you worthless twat, so that you could bolster the wobbling, obese self-esteem of a Chris Moyles or Steve Wright by nibbling off their arse whinnets every weekday? Being given some nickname which is really just their first name preceded by a descriptive of some kind. Lazy Chris, Skinny Paul, Paedo Phil etc etc. What do these fuckers do with the other twenty hours in the day?


And can the BBC really justify all those salaries? It’s a recognized fact that Chris Moyles is followed through the Frequency Modulated wilderness by fifty disciples. All eating and drinking and coming up with gags about Pot Noodle at the License Payers’ expense. The cost effective move would be to employ a DJ with multiple personalities. Sit him in the studio with his own mental posse and let him get on with it. But there aren’t that many Kenny Everetts around and, in fairness, I don’t think Peter Sutcliffe would be up to the job of putting together a playlist everyday and broadcasting to the nation. No, Peter, we can’t play ‘Delilah’ again, you played it twice yesterday. Not without ranting every half hour or so about prostitutes being the whores of Satan. They should be rent in twain and their innards burnt with fire! And now here’s Sally with news on some congestion on the M4…


Kenny Everett has a lot to answer for. A lot of this is Kenny Everett’s fault. Kenny is the John Lennon of the airwaves. He’s the man every white DJ apparently aspires to be. Even more so than David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton or Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart. And so as for every John Lennon we get a hundred Liam Gallaghers, so for every Kenny Everett there’s a thousand Chris Tarrant’s and a million Scott Millseseseses. Each trying to be more ‘zany’ and ‘cutting edge’ than the next. All ruthlessly self-promoting. Because every DJ is slavering to hit the big time or desperate to hold on to the big time. The shimmering prize of National Radio. And to feed their own sense of self-worth. Because the broadcast DJ is the kid that was never funny at school. The kid with the desperate need to impress. A chip on their shoulders and psychological skeletons in the wardrobe. Broadcast DJing is their Primal Scream therapy. And do I really want to be privy to this? Do I really want to offer myself up as fodder to their emotional masturbation? Do I really want to take a full on facial from Chris Moyles? No. I would rather staple my cock to the rear bumper of John and Steve from Reading’s white van. John and Steve in Reading wanting a shout out for ‘John and Steve’s Insulation and Acoustic Panelling in Reading’. John and Steve from Reading who are about to set off at seventy down the A33 to a panelling job in Basingstoke.


John and Steve, get your foot down, I can hear Chris Moyles pulling the wrapper of another bar of Diary Milk. I think he’s unzipping. Let’s rock.

Things I hate #11

Touching corduroy. Especially if I have to brush my fingertips across the grain. And putting on clean socks. Football socks are the worst. The feeling on my feet, the sensation on my fingers. I hate them. I don’t know why, I just do. True clothing misery would be a corduroy suit and a pair of football socks. Just thinking about it gives me the shudders. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Did you know…?


In the 15th and early 16th Centuries the Isle of Wight was colonized by Portuguese clam fishermen who used the island as a home base for fishing in the mollusc-rich waters to the South West of Queen Victoria’s former holiday home. Though English is largely adopted as the dialect of commerce, especially on the eastern part of the island, it is for this reason that many villages to the west of Ventnor have Portuguese as their first language, and signs beyond Niton out to West Wight frequently display directions and place names in both English and Portuguese. Travellers to the island are encouraged to note the fact, especially when approaching locals for information. British currency is standard throughout the entire island.