I am ill, hence the hilarious and ever so clever Dollop title. Ill, as in the medical sense of the word, rather than the more positive, urban, street, bad-ass way, although, let’s be honest, I tick that box as well. Just to make sure I haven’t confused things even more here with my attempts of clarification, by bad-ass, that is also meant in the urban, street sense; I don’t have anything wrong with my ass. Sorry, I just thought I better clarify that when I said “I don’t have anything wrong with my ass,” I meant that I don’t have anything wrong with my backside, as opposed to referring to my donkey, who is, incidentally, now we’re on the subject, feeling a tad under the weather at the moment. I just thought I better explain that in case I’d managed to add further confusion in my attempts to offer further clarification about my first clarification. So just to be clear then: I am ill, in the medical sense rather than the urban, street, bad-ass sense, but my illness has nothing to do with my backside.
Sorry, I know that was a bit of a ridiculous opening paragraph, but in my defence, I am ill. Also in my defence, it’s very difficult to write today’s Dollop as the three of us are in The tiny Young’uns van, which is so cramped that I have to angle the laptop so that it’s side on with half of it on my lap and half on Michael’s lap. If I have the laptop straight then it blocks Sean’s access to the gear stick, and while I’d admit that you might be able to describe this as a car crash Dollop, at least it’s only figuratively so, whereas one false move with the laptop …
Just imagine what would happen if we did have a fatal crash. The police would find my laptop perched on top of our dead bodies, and when they read what was on the screen, they’d find the first paragraph of today’s Dollop, and tears of great sorrow would well up in their eyes, as they considered what a tragic loss the literary and comedy world had just suffered.
Fortunately, I’m generally managing to keep the laptop away from any of the driving controls, although there have been a few near misses on the occasion that Michael coughs or sneezes, causing the precariously perched laptop to fly to the side and towards Sean. I hope you appreciate the kind of sacrifices I make for you with this project. These half-hearted, cobbled together semi-jokes about donkeys and backsides are being generated under life threatening conditions, so think on that before you judge.
We may have managed to stay alive, but I feel like death, as I have a massive cold, a really sore throat and a headache. There is no time to rest however and recover because we have been performing all day at Hartlepool Folk festival. After a whole day of events, we are now in the van heading to Burnley. We should arrive in Burnley at 1230. We then have to be up at 8 to start another five days of songwriting with school children.
Even though I’ve been feeling terrible all day, I seem to miraculously improve when it’s time to perform, and I get a massive adrenalin kick while I’m on stage, meaning that the pain completely disappears. This is very useful, but it means my body punishes me big time after each performance, and I am now feeling really shit. Fortunately the thought of spending a week in the company of hundreds of small children shouting “bum” and “poo” in my face is cheering me up no end, and is obviously a great medicinal tonic. Bloody hell, the thought is almost making me consider angling my laptop to the right slightly and bringing on the sweet release of death. Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens.
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Exciting news Fiona, I’m on another train. The ticket for my journey is an electronic one that I have downloaded onto my phone through an app. This is the first time I have tried this. At the time that the app suggested this option to me, it seemed like a good idea, but now I’ve just remembered that my screen is severely cracked, and although the phone is still useable for me, as I don’t need to see the screen, it’s very difficult for someone to actually see what’s on it. I am therefore a bit unsure as to whether they will accept my ticket as valid if they can’t really see it.
Perhaps the ticket inspector will think that this is an elaborate scam, and that I deliberately smashed my screen so as to be able to execute my fraudulent plan. But in fairness, this would be a highly elaborate way around not paying for a train ticket, or at least certainly if you relied on sight to use the phone, as you’d have to be sure that the price of getting a valid ticket would be less than the cost of repairing your phone’s severely cracked screen, otherwise it would be a completely pointless exercise. If I do get away with it though, then perhaps in future I can simply have a photo of a ticket on my cracked screen, and I will then be able to travel for free all the time. And given that I can still use the phone without needing to see the screen, I won’t be inconvenienced in the slightest, whereas a sighted person trying this trick would have to get their phone repaired after the scam had been carried out. Oh yes my friends, yet another amazing perk of being blind; Pretend not to be jealous.
In fact, if you are a regular commuter then you might want to consider blindness as a lifestyle choice, as it would be a highly effective money saving initiative. If you became blind then you’d automatically benefit from free bus travel, and then, even if on rare occasions your cracked screen train ticket dodging scam doesn’t work, you’d get a third off the price of your ticket anyway, thanks to the disabled person’s rail card that you would now be eligible for. The more I give this thought, the more logical this idea is. I can’t believe Martin Lewis and his cronies haven’t thought of this one yet.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I believe that blindness could be a great economic initiative for the UK as a whole. We could completely fix and even significantly boost our country’s economy if everyone became blind. Seriously. For a start, just think of all the money we’d save once we turned off all the lights. Just think how much of a strain we’d take off the NHS if we didn’t have to worry about eye care. Just think how much energy we’d save by turning off all the television channels and transmitters. Come on people, ask not what your country can do for you … It’s time to get blind for Britain. If you really want to make Britain great, then you know what you need to do? Plus if we are all blind then it automatically solves all the xenophobia and racism in the country, because no one will be able to see colour and thus there would be no discernible difference between any of us. So blindness would essentially create a completely egalitarian, problem free utopia. There would be no more need for art galleries, which means the space could be used to house people, thus blindness would essentially eradicate homelessness. I defy any of you to come up with a single valid reason for why this isn’t the most incredible idea for our country.
“Where there is no vision, the people shall perish,” says the bible. But quite frankly, Jesus was talking out of his arse (one of his less appreciated miracles, although it always went down a treat during parties, especially on those nights when water was turned into wine). But the bible has it completely wrong (which I know may come as a bit of a shock, as obviously it’s normally so bang on the money, especially all those lengthy passagers about dirty menstruating women). But actually, the opposite is true: “where there is no vision, the people shall prosper!”
So, people of Britain, we really can make Great Britain great. If you want to boost our economy and live in a more enlightened world of social equality and peace, then you know what you need to do. Everything I’ve outlined for our country is possible, and I’m sure you are all very excited. But we need to be more than excited, it’s time to be ex-sighted. You see what I did there? Well, yes you did, and that’s the problem. So, come on friends, what are you waiting for? Let’s play a blinder for Britain. It’s time for … The Great British Blind Off!
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Over the course of doing these Dollops I’ve received some great comments, many of which from actual genuine Dollop readers/listeners, but also quite a few interesting ones from people who clearly have never read a single Dollop and are merely spamming. Today I received a comment from a Guadalupe Kesselman – probably not The Guadalupe Kesselman, but you never know – who said:
“Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog. You have some really great articles and I think usługi pielęgniarskie Warszawa, opieka pielęgniarska , pielęgniarka do domu, pielęgniarskie wizyty domowe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested. Regards!”
Immediately, it is patently obvious that Mr Kesselman has no idea what these Dollops are about. Baring in mind that the purpose of this project is for me to attempt 366 consecutive daily blogs during 2016, therefore I am hardly likely to request the services of someone else to write the blog for me, as this would completely make the challenge void. Mr Kesselman tells me that he has read my blog, “You have some really great articles,” yet still after reading the Dollops he still seems to think that he would be able to write for me. The Dollop that he commented on was all about The Young’uns’ experience in a prison. Somehow, after reading all about my folk band’s visit to a jail, he is still confident about being able to write for me.
I might be doing him a disservice, and maybe he would be able to effectively mimic my style , and write convincing blogs as if he was me, however I think this is very unlikely. He doesn’t really do himself any favours by changing language half way through his pitch. He starts out by telling me he’d love to write for me, and then, half way through his sentence, and just before he says what an asset he’d be to my blog, he suddenly goes into Polish. ““Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog. You have some really great articles and I think usługi pielęgniarskie Warszawa, opieka pielęgniarska , pielęgniarka do domu, pielęgniarskie wizyty domowe I would be a good asset.” Even more odd is the fact that the English translation of this out-of-place string of Polish is: “nursing services,nursing,nursehome,nursinghome visits.”
However, he has included his email address, and so I thought I’d email him to make further enquiries, after all, he doesn’t seem to want anything else in return apart from a link to his website so it’s maybe worth a punt.
“Hi Guadalupe, thanks for your comment, and thanks for the kind words; I’m glad you enjoyed my articles. Given that you have read a few of my blogs, you will obviously be aware of the format and my style, and you will have no doubt gleaned various salient points which will help you write something that is in keeping with the kind of things I write about. You may wish to consult The Young’uns website to find out when we are gigging. This will help make your imitation of me more authentic and credible, as it will avoid you writing about me being somewhere else when I was actually gigging, thus blowing your cover. My readers are naturally very discerning and astute (hence their choice of blog), therefore it’s important to mirror my style as accurately as you can, lest our little arrangement should be uncovered. For this reason, While I appreciate your innovative approach to writing, transitioning mid-sentence from English to writing about nursing homes in Polish, I’m not sure that this would really suit the Dollops, so I’d be grateful if you could stick to writing in English if that’s OK? and no mention of nursing homes, unless you’ve got a punchline. Otherwise it might get a bit confusing and arouse suspicion. Also, it would be great if you had some jokes about WIFI enabled kettles, as my readers can’t get enough of that.”
I wonder if he’ll still be interested after receiving this email. I’ll keep you updated. Obviously if he does read these blogs, as he claims to do, then he will know that I am on to him and that I realise that he is a spammer. We’ll see what happens.
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I am writing today’s dollop from a primary school staffroom in Preston. How’s that for an opening sentence? “ouch!” Oh sorry, did you just get hooked?
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Dollops then you might be a bit confused as to what I’m doing in a Preston primary school staffroom. Don’t worry, the teachers know I’m here. I’ve started performing the school assembly circuit, having been asked by a number of headteachers to deliver my Dollops, which have been recognised for their educational content; after all, they are essentially modern day parables.
Today’s assembly focused on my 37th Dollop, entitled Young Hungarian Fat Gay Boys and Watery Cat faeces, which interestingly is my most popular Dollop of all, according to my website stats. I know what you’re probably thinking right now, but don’t worry, obviously I don’t just read the Dollops out, oh no, I also get the children heavily involved in the experience, getting them to play the various parts in the story. The young girl playing the part of the watery cat faeces was especially good. I was so impressed that I called her mother up and told her that she was a proper little shit. Sadly her mother seemed a bit pissed off and is going to pull her out of my assemblies in the future; I guess some parents just don’t see acting as a proper job. It’s a shame though because next week we’re doing Dollop 265, entitled My Housemate’s Pierced Penis, and I was planning on giving her the star role – the main part, if you will.
Sadly, in reality, schools have not yet realised the value and potential of my Dollops to educate children, however if there are any headteachers reading then feel free to get in touch. There are all sorts of Dollop-related exercises that I could get the kids to do, such as a team building task where students have eleven hours to try and boil a kettle over WIFI.
The real reason I am in a Preston primary school’s staffroom is because I’m doing a songwriting project in Lancashire schools. Again, you might have assumed that this was a commission inspired by the Dollops, after the schools’ music departments got wind of my incredible musical masterpieces, such as Psycho’s World, Thrill Me Kill Me, and of course, the remarkably innovative Dollops theme tune. But again, my solo work has failed to garner the attention of the education sector as of yet, so I’ve had to accept work with the other two Young’uns.
Currently there is a detective mystery taking place in the staffroom. There has been a fight in the school, and the teachers have asked those involved to write an account of what happened. The teachers also collected a number of witness reports as well, and we are all in the staffroom picking through the evidence and trying to deduce what actually might have happened. It’s a really interesting exercise, and the written accounts of what happened and why the people involved acted in the way they did makes for fascinating reading.
“He called me a moron, so I pushed him. Then he pushed me, so I pushed him. Then he pushed me again, so I pushed him again. Then he kicked me, so I kicked him. Then I walked off, but he stuck his tongue out at me, so I punched him.”
To be honest, I’m getting sick of Michael and Sean bickering like this. It’s especially embarrassing in front of the kids. I’m hoping that this method of writing their account down will make them reconsider their actions. So far it’s only made things worse, because Sean has used his songwriting skills to turn his account into a rather scathing, yet admittedly very catchy ditty about Michael. This caused Michael to cry “I want my mummy.” I’ve told him that I wish he wouldn’t call me that when we’re in public; it’s meant to be a bit of a kinky thing we enjoy privately, but it’s not appropriate in front of others, certainly not in school. I’m not sure we’re going to be invited back.
No, obviously that was just me being all hilarious there, the altercation I just described was one of the children’s written accounts of what happened. The two children have just been summoned into the staffroom, and the teachers have told them that they should be ashamed of themselves. “You’re meant to be children, but you’re behaving like a couple of UKIP MEPs.” This denouncement from their teacher immediately brought the two children to their senses, and they agreed to be friends and both take responsibility for the event. The teacher said that she was proud of them for their grownup attitude, and at least they eventually took responsibility for their punchup, unlike UKIP MEPs Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem, who both agreed that the whole thing was essentially the fault of immigrants, before toddling off together to the pub for a pint, like proper English blokes.
At the start of today’s Dollop I joked that I was performing my Dollops on the school assembly circuit. While this isn’t true, one of my anecdotes was used by a headteacher in his secondary school assembly. And I shall tell you about that tomorrow in Dollop 291.