short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography
You’d have to be a complete killjoy to find much fault with the London ‘lympics. Wee..ell, that’s me, Killjoy Jones. Wherever there’s a bit of joy I like to squeeze the life out of it. Smother it to death. Eliminating the sparkle and fun from life is my game. In cold blood. Grumbling is my forte. Grizzling, complaining and criticising come as second nature. I was the little boy who used to take his ball home when every other kid on the park was having fun with it. The one everybody hated. A born spoiler. When folk talk of Moanin’ Minnies they mean people like me. Though I prefer to be known as a Moanin’ Mickey. The original whinging Pom.
Talking about big moaners, you have to hand it to Liam Gallagher for managing to slaughter Oasis’s Wonderwall so cruelly in the closing ceremony of the ‘lympics. Killer move. Up until that moment it was one of my favourite songs from the olden days. Had his voice really been that bad? I must’ve been on drugs.
If there ever was any, the veteran Mancunian front man extinguished the joy as soon as he opened his big gob. Nice set of fangs. He launched willy-nilly into the lyrics as though making them up as he went along. It was like listening to a crazed butcher wielding a cleaver in an argument with a row of innocent pork chops that got out of hand. If you get my drift. Set to real music. You have to picture the pork chops as living and trying to escape to make it really work. Still doesn’t? Doesn’t work for me either. I’ve got it labelled as poetic licence. No, it’s not the same sort of licence as a fishing licence. It’s more like sexual licence. Only without the sex. And without the poetry. To return to the plot. A musically-challenged, barbiturate-popping psycho couldn’t have made more of a mess. And, in true psycho mode, it was obvious Liam felt no remorse for his crime. He will only do it again if he isn’t locked up.
It was almost as much of a tragedy as when plucky old pensioner, Sir Paul McCartney, garrotted a few of his little ditties to death at the opening. But that had its comic side. Though old age isn’t funny in itself, old people sometimes make me laugh. Sir Paul’s breathless renditions put me in mind of a rusty old push bike my Dad owned. And a senior citizens karaoke bar I once stumbled upon in Bridlington. There I witnessed a gin-soaked eighty-year-old use his one remaining, withered vocal chord to strangle the words to ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ without mercy. More Hari Karaoke than anything. As my Auntie Betty would’ve said: “they shouldn’t let them out at night, poor dears”. In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, you’d have to have a heart made of stone not to laugh. Singing a song to death took on a whole new meaning that night. Bless his right honourable cotton socks.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I liked the pretty lights and fireworks too. But then you get a lot of pretty lights and fireworks for twelve billion quid of taxpayers’ money. And a lot of wheeler dealers and ageing pop stars sniffing round when there’s oodles of free dosh floating about.
On the positive side, I did marvel at what looked like the synchronised women’s underwater tiddlywinks finals, and gasped at how far fat ex-convicts were able to chuck their balls and chains. I split my sides watching those stringy-looking beanpoles running through the streets of London being chased by an unruly mob. All sporting brightly-coloured underwear for some unfathomable reason. Thought that Russian bloke with a concealed weapon almost had them at one point.
And the knitting marathon weren’t all bad neither. Amazing how they can knit all those bikes and canoes while sailing dinghies over hurdles. Least I think they were doing that. Perhaps I’d slurped down one can too many by that time. Or maybe wall to wall sport 24/7 should be reclassified as a mind-altering experience.
Then there’s the negative side again. What got my goat was all the smiling poor and unemployed individuals duped into volunteering for zilch while filthy rich bastards like Gallagher got paid great stacks of wedge for singing out of time and off-key. It’s more of ‘the rich need it far more than you do’ syndrome that’s all the vogue amongst slime-oozing bankers justifying ginormous bonuses.
And talking of bankers oozing brings me back to Liam Gallagher for some inexplicable reason. And that other Gallagher, Nöel. How does an arrogant, sour-faced grump given to throwing violent tantrums get to be named after Christmas? There ought to be a law against it. Can’t help thinking he’s the sort of tyke who could slide under a door wearing a top hat. With his new, thinning hairdo he’s looking more and more like Uriah Heap by the day. Only with none of the feigned ‘ever-so’ humbleness. Gives me the right heebie-jeebies, I can tell you.
The words ‘Hope I die before I get old’ from The Who’s classic My Generation come to mind. Don’t quite know why. Perhaps I’d rather fade away before hearing Gallagher sing live again. I might even fade away at the thought.
To end on a note of cheer. At least the sexagenarian Roger Daltry managed to give ‘My Generation’ some wellie. Though one might be forgiven for wondering whose generation he’s on about. Still, you get the feeling Rog doesn’t pop into the Day Centre for a cup of tea over a thrilling game of Ludo yet. Might catch Sir Paul bashing out ‘Yesterday’ on the old joanna if he did. If he can still remember the words. Or if he can even remember yesterday, for that matter.
As a postscript. On another loosely connected subject, who’d have thought a man called Roger would ever make it as an international rock star? Roger Dylan doesn’t sound right. John, Paul George and Roger? Roger Morrison and The Doors? Give me a break. With a name like Roger it’s doubtful any of them would ever have even thought of picking up a guitar, let alone twanging out a tune. Or belting out a song. And Roger Hendrix sounds like a tax inspector your Mum might’ve gone out with before she met your Dad.
Still, Daltry didn’t let a little impediment like a nerd’s name hold him back. So, there’s hope for all those Rogers out there yet. Even though it is forlorn. Forlorn hope must be better than no hope at all.
So that’s my take on the great event. Compliments always welcome. Any complaints, keep them to yourself. Get a grip, nobody likes a moaner.
You know the tax inspector I mean. The one who looks the spitting image of you.
Copyright © 2012 Bryan Hemming Conil
Many thanks to the King_of_Staunton (see comments) pointing out I’d got the wrong brother when I originally wrote it was Nöel Gallagher appearing at the closing ceremony of the Olympics. My apologies to Nöel. He doesn’t look so much like Uriah Heap. But he does a bit.
To write about my memories, past and present
An exploration into understanding the complexities of the Chemical Age, the Synthetic Chemical Revolution, and the toxins that impact us all
An Archive... Singer / Songwriter / Writer / Outsider / Poet / Photos / Collecting Life's Strange Things ...and a Book For Sale
Une fois. Encore.
Public interest issues, policy, equality, human rights, social science, analysis
Hold your verve
More Coyotes than Wolves
My journey into sketching and drawing in and around Jimena de la Frontera, Andalucia