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The Kraken Wakes... The Kraken Wakes...: May 2012

Monday, 28 May 2012

Being Babies
Says it all
Look, you need to explain something to me. Why in the fuck is it that we, as a society, are still - still! - discussing women who choose not to have children? Twice lately I have seen big features written by women in national papers explaining why they they've not spawned and the trouble they have when this comes up in conversation. 
Excuse me? Do you think that we, as both a nation and a species, could stop lobbing rocks at the sun for a mo and find something more bloody interesting to talk about? I dunno, the humanitarian crisis in Syria or the social destruction being waged on Britain by the Tories. Anything actually. Anything other than this mouldy fucking chestnut. 
Is it really still such an issue that women choose to not reproduce? That they employ their ability to make intelligent personal decisions? That they allow themselves to experience a life made up of career success, foreign adventures or just plain peace and quiet? Because every time a woman is pushed into explaining her decision to not explode a child from her vag what she is really doing is justifying that she is of some worth beyond being a walking womb. It's as bleakly offensive as a grope from a drunk in a pub. Each is as objectifying as the other.
You know by now that I have spawned to the tune of Kraken Junior, for stunningly complicated reasons that arose from a staggeringly bizarre situation. Yet, until that point I was a woman who had decided to never have kids. I was also a woman who had to explain this basic choice to every fucker who wondered why, at the age of 36, I still wasn't up to my neck in nappies. Christ, how I remember the bewildered stares of people when I told them that I preferred world travel and lazy Sunday mornings to being screamed at by an 8lb shitting machine. The reactions I received made me wonder if I'd actually admitted to some strange sexual fetish or an urge to chuck myself off the Clifton Suspension Bridge. 
Problem is that I never heard anyone discussing why men decide to take careers over kids. Or why men travel the world when they could be watching Peppa fucking Pig instead. No one ever turned to Conjugal Kraken and asked him why he didn't want kids. They'd ask me instead, goggle eyed, as if the freakish decision was mine alone because, God forbid, that a male brain could be involved in such an irrational decision. 
So if we want to genuinely become the progressive society that we already think we are we need to stop giving a shit about what women decide to do with the tennis-ball sized organ that nestles low in their bellies. And we need to start regarding 50 per cent of the population as more than just incubators for the human fucking race. 
So let's cross our fingers for some sense, is it? Oh, and while we're at it let's just accept that sometimes women cross their legs too. 

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Blowing Bubbles
Dopes in soaps
Will someone explain to me why people watch soap operas? I've tried to understand, really I have, but have failed miserably, like a Jack Russell trying to shag a Great Dane. Few things boggle me more than the collective national collapse onto the sofa at certain times of the week to witness fictitious northerners and cockneys screwing/ punching/ gossiping their way through their drab lives.  
It's not that I'm averse to telly. I watch bags of the stuff: Seinfeld, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, The Apprentice, The Killing, Homeland, The Bridge and even the screeching insanity of America's Next Top Model. But soaps? Jesus, I want drama, glamour, idiocy and intrigue from my viewing pleasures, not fishwives caterwauling at each other over pints of stout.
Point is that if I wanted to see the grim lives that soaps portray I'd take a walk around the frigging block. Cheaply dressed, badly tanned, tattooed loons (and that's just the wimmin) are ten-a-penny in these here parts. I don't need a fistful of scriptwriters to show me what they get up to, ta very much. A Saturday night suicide run through town'll do it.
And what the fuck is it with these magazines about soap operas? Excuse me? Features about non-existent people and non-existent lives? You have got to be kidding me. Even as someone who adores reading fiction it is utterly beyond me that any sentient human being would buy one of these excuses for hacking down another tree. 
Perhaps I'm missing something big here. Perhaps I need to put aside the part of my brain that thinks and tune in for half an hour one evening. You never know, I might discover that my life is in serious need of a dose of wet cobbles or some light criminal Eastend activity. It could solve everything that makes me rage on here every 48 hours. 
Then again, if Ken fucking Barlow is the solution to my problems I'm even frigging madder than I thought I was. In fact, I'm probably beyond saving. Like that Jack Russell assaulting the Great Dane I may as well give up. Betty, love? Make mine a pint.


Monday, 21 May 2012

And Another Thing...
...the Jubilee celebrations. Well OK, not the Jubilee itself, just the way the nation has been suddenly smothered with the Union Jack. Jesus, it's what the country would look like if the BNP won a general election.
I stumbled into Asda on the weekend and was greeted with such a blinding display of red, white n blue that I thought I'd had a brain haemorrhage. The clothes department looked as if it had suffered an explosion of nationalistic rage. There were dresses, t-shirts, shorts, shirts and kids' clothes all adorned with Union bloody Jacks. No doubt this is in readiness for the street parties that will slither across the land on the big day itself but to me it looked like all the essentials for a stag party to Benidorm. 
And yeah, yeah, I know this is a big year for our country. Yet just as I feel about the Olympics, by the time Her Maj has aired her bloomers to Knees Up Mother Brown in celebration, I'll be so sick to death of our bloody flag that I'll probably set fire to it. 
Perhaps there's a bright side though. Just in case there aren't already enough reasons to never vote for the BNP, this could be a little taste of what could happen if you put your cross in the wrong box. Imagine constantly living with this nationalistic fever? Being permanently surrounded by margarine tubs and ties patterned with the Union Jack? 
If this were the case I'd be the first to indulge in some decidedly un-British behaviour. And it would probably involve flagpoles. Oh, inserted in strange places. It'd be one way of marking our heritage if nothing else.


Jumping through Hoops
Seeing it in your sleep
You know what's really getting on my tit about the Olympic Games? The infuriating way in which every business in the land is forcing the event into their advertising campaigns. The Olympic bandwagon has now become so fucking enormous that its in danger of losing all four of its wheels and careening into the bloody Thames.
Yeah, yeah, there are sponsorship deals aplenty and the usual names are all up there: Visa, Coke, Panasonic, Acer, Omega...but what really grates is how the likes of Heineken UK and Trebor and fuck knows who else is managing to get its mitts on a piece of the action. God forbid that the Olympics should carry absolutely any correlation to the product being foisted on an unwitting public. And forget that the companies in question are sometimes the enemies of the very values at the heart of the Games. What in the bollocks does that matter when you can sling the logo on anything from bags of bird seed to super plus tampons in the hope that some idiot somewhere will equate their purchases with athletic success.
Problem is that by the time opening ceremony cranks into action the nation will suffer from such enormous Olympic fatigue, where it becomes so sick of having the ring logo rammed up its, well, ring, that it wouldn't care if Usain Bolt set fire to himself on the blocks.
What the fuck does that matter though? The advertising juggernaut will continues its filthy journey through the British Isles until we're doing all but ingesting Jessica Ennis' toenail clippings in the name of a bottle of bloody lager. 
Olympic stamina, strength and determination? Fuck the 100 metres. That's just what it's going to take to survive the advertising campaigns alone. And I've an idea that I'll be needing that starting gun for something other than running...


Friday, 18 May 2012

Joanie: My kinda muvver
Look, I've got to admit something, OK? And if you're a Mothercare catalogue kinda kraken-lover you'd better gird yourself. Here you go: I can't stand talking to other mothers. No really, I can't fucking bear it. Now I don't mean my mates who are mums and I don't mean the few mates I have made through Kraken Junior. I mean the whole school gate brigade. I just want them to leave me the frig alone.
I felt it this morning when I took KJ to her new school for a link-up sesh and I feel it every day when I pick her up from her current venue of enforced labour. Seriously, when there are 30 mums queuing up for the 3pm bell, all nattering about the cost of kids shoes or their vaginal sagginess, I'm the one deliberately standing on my own with anything from a good book to a lengthy nose-pick. It's infinitely more interesting.
Now, I know this makes me look like a standoffish kind of kraken but that's the way I like it. I have no fucking interest whatsoever in any child except my own and those of my dear mates. I really don't give a shit all the others. And the thing is, until their mothers start talking about something of interest, I really don't give a shit about them either. See, I told you to gird yourself, didn't I?
Thing is, expecting women get on just because they are mothers is like expecting all brown-haired people to be mates or all disabled people to forge lifelong friendships. The only thing we have in common is that we've shouted obscenities at a random midwife and that does not a friendship make. 
Anyway, talking about kids over and over again is not what I want from my chumships. Who in the fuck wants an entire afternoon's discussion about the firmness of Little Johnny's turds? I want to talk about politics, careers, music, art, sex and cake and any other subject that actively doesn't get out of bed at 4am just to ask me when Santa's coming back.
Y'know, I recall being coerced into attending a mother and baby group when Kraken Junior had just emerged from her festering shell. It was one of the most hideous moments of my existence. After weeks of fuck all but leaky tits, soaring bewilderment and clambering exhaustion I thought it would be a chance for intelligent conversation with other wimmin. Fuckadoodledo, was I wrong. It was a room bereft of intelligent anything. It was, however, a void into which a collection of females all pitched their random thoughts about feeding, sleeping, nappies, feeding, sleeping, nappies. And as I watched I had the most horrific thought: "Is this it? Is this what I should talk about now that I have spawned?" needless to say, I wrestled the live mouse out of KJ's mouth and took off, never, ever returning to that lair of the damned.
So, yeah, I sound like a kraken hag but spare me, will you? More importantly, spare me the endless kid chat. I don't care now and I never will. Really, readers, you have been warned.

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Not-so-Great Pretenders
No, I can't believe your success either
Could you tell me what there is to like about impressionists? No, not the French painting variety, for Christ's sake, I mean the people who put on the voices and twitches of slebs. No really, could you tell me what there is to like? Because I am at a complete and utter bloody loss about why they enjoy national popularity.
I'd rather watch my ovaries being removed via my nostrils than be exposed to un-funny men like John Culshaw and Alistair McGowan. Problem is that their impersonations are nothing less than shite. 
Their voices and actions leave me either bewildered or cold and, worse, they try to make up for it by injecting dull yet explanatory jokes into their acts. You know the sort of thing. The obligatory Bruce Forsythe turn will include references to Strictly Come Dancing and "NIce to see you!" catchphrases because the impression itself is so fucking poor that you'd otherwise have no clue about who it's supposed to be. They'd be better off broadcasting a blank screen and letting viewers use their fevered imaginations. 
In one alleged comedy show - Punt and Dennis, I recall through my frustrated tears - the few attempted impressions were so horrifyingly inaccurate that they actually introduced each sketch with screen captions. What in the fuck were they thinking? Didn't it cross their fame-hungry minds that if their offerings were that poor they should be scrapped? 
This goes for every impressionist, though, doesn't it? They're all laughably bad yet someone, somewhere keeps commissioning the bastards. I suspect that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. There's such a dearth of decent impressionists that any old twat with a passing resemblance to Anne Robinson gets a gig.
Tell you what these guys should do and that's do an impression of being good at something. I dunno, emptying bins or architecture will do. Anything except assaulting the nation with their deluded witterings. Or they could try the French painting. As long as they piss off to France, that is.

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dazed and Confused
Just fucking spare me
D’know, there are some things that leave me so deeply bewildered by their popularity that I suspect I’ve unknowingly had a run in with a flux capacitor. Whereas all around me are foaming with excitement at the vagaries of popular culture, I’m this close to being smothered by bafflement. Course, you will be dying to know what these vagaries are so here you bloody well are:

Women’s magazines: Who in the fuck wants to read about Rihanna’s latest nip-slip, baking muffins, dying infants and blow-job techniques? This shit has all the relevance of bloody ra-ra skirts.
Astrology: What the fuck? No, really, what the fuck? Deriving from the position of Jupiter that you’re going to lose your job is so close to insanity that you have to winder why Russell Grant hasn’t been lobotomised yet.
ITV1: You know that quote about religion being the opium of the masses? Well modern Britain has swapping Catholicism for Scott and fucking Bailey. ITV1 produces the sort of telly that you sit stunned bomb victims in front of.
Kate Middleton: Jesus, like we need a new definition of the word ‘bland’. She’s an icon for the hard of thinking and those so fearful of change that they develop raging diarrhoea every time the milkman’s late.
The X-Factor: No, I don’t want to see people being pilloried, out-warbled, offered laughable platitudes, stripped of their individuality or sold to Heat magazine. And I certainly don’t want to see it every Saturday night between August and Christmas.
Marks & Spencer: What an utterly hateable fucking shop. If the seething unoriginality of the clothes doesn’t make me drip with bile, the blank-eyed, thin-lipped, wandering post-menopausal women do. I swear, I’d buy used knickers from a car boot sale before I ever handed my cash over in such a spirit-sapping lair.
Michael Macintyre: No, you toffed-up wanker, musing about toasters and the shapes of clouds does not comedy make. It does, though, make for an arena full of people who have such a deeply underdeveloped sense of humour that they still snigger at their own bowel production.
Sigh. My bafflement continues...

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Friday, 11 May 2012

Girl Talk
Go the frig away
I was the distraught recipient of terrible news today, care of a certain Kraken Junior, for she has informed me that when she grows up she wants to be a...princess.
A princess. A fucking princess. What sort of ambition is that for any sentient being? After all the times I've talked about space travel and authoring and construction and athletics she has still decided that she wants to be the equivalent of the horrifically benign Kate frigging Middleton.
In much the same way that I would be mortified if she were to become a Tory, KJ's preferred career choice makes me want to sob into the balled up hopes and dreams that I have for her. I know, I know, she's four and she's going to change her mind a thousand times (Christ knows, I'm 41 and still don't know what I want to do when I grow up), but what if this is it? What if KJ has already decreed that her life is to be one of pouty tuffet-sitting, X-Factor entries and professional vajazzling?
What if this candy-floss career attempt actually pulls off? I blame those horrific magazines she's seen. No, not Heat or Hello but Princess, that schmaltzy and offensive rag that's stuffed with coy looking Princesses from Disney films, you know with names like Belle and Aurora. 
On the rare occasion that she's managed to get her sweaty paws on this ambition-smothering shit I've been forced to take things into my own hands, namely by finding pictures of said princesses and drawing  mortar boards, books, test tubes and trainers on them. I then go on to explain to KJ that only dimwits want to be princesses and why don't we get the chemistry set out now?
Look, it's not that I'm a pushy cow of a kraken. It's just that I can see how, at every turn, girls are force fed these stinking fucking images of what society wants them to be; pneumatic, silly pushovers. It's my job to create a balance by offering KJ the opposing image of women as intelligent, strong and go-getting. Princess magazine sure as shit doesn't do this so I'm having to do it instead.
So I've decided not to fret over this crinoline draped beast that KJ wants to become. I have every faith that she'll be the lucky recipient of common sense and run a mile from anything that involves a lifetime of daintiness. Or she'll have me to answer to and, guess what? Dainty I ain't.

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Food Fight
Just. Eat. It.
Here's my horrifying secret: I've been trying to poison Kraken Junior. You know, slipping digitalis and crushed yew berries into her Petits Filous, watching her wilt and pale over the following months...Well, at least that's what you'd think had been happening if you were to overhear her squealing tones during any given frigging mealtime. I mean, what in the fuck is with her increasingly queer culinary demands?
It's like feeding a panicky Saddam Hussain: the peas can't touch the gravy; the sauce can't touch the sausages; the mash can't have potato skin in it; the parsley sauce mustn't contain 'bits'; the spag bol must have the onion picked out of it; the yoghurt must be pink; the mice must be alive; the goats must be virgins...Jesus Christ, Karen Carpenter would have been easier to feed. 
So what, exactly, will happen if any of these arbitrary rules are suddenly and recklessly transgressed? If Kraken Junior's bug-eyed terror is anything to go by a hole will be torn in the fabric of the universe and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will gallop through. If my bug-eyed frustration is anything to go by the social services will be called in and I'll make headline news with my swirling cudgel. 
I don't give into 98 per cent of these deranged grumblings. I'll be utterly fucked if I'm going to spend ten minutes of my time plucking the parsley out of the fish sauce. If I wanted to serve royalty I'd enrol at Eton and toss onto a digestive. 
Course, this whole frigging rigmarole happens every day and, worse, with food Kraken Junior loves. So it matters not if I knock up a glorious pile of sausage and mash. Should the gravy be pooled around the curling bangers rather than over them the sun will suddenly darken, locusts will start battering at the windows, and Kraken Junior will be greeted with a stout, "For fuck's sake!". An Enid Blyton picnic it ain't.
I'm going to start presenting Kraken Junior with the contents of a compost heap to show her what it's really like to be fed inedibles. A couple of slugs and decomposing pondweed should do it. Oh and some digitalis and yew berries. That should really give her something to holler about. 

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Monday, 7 May 2012

On a quiet day
Why in the fuck didn’t anyone tell me that when I gave birth it would not be to a human being but to a perpetual motion machine? You know, I once saw a perpetual motion machine at the Boston Science Museum. I thought it was a work of genius. Genius, my hairy arse. Next to four year old Kraken Junior it’s got all the motion of my lower bowel after a large omelette.
Jesus, how can anything move so much and so often without being experimented on in a laboratory? Kraken Junior is never knowingly conscious and still. She jigs, twitches, dances, waggles and jerks and that’s just when she’s sitting at the table to eat. I’m seriously wondering whether she’s missing a substantial part of her sweltering brain.
The fact is that this endless bouncing of hers is driving me around the fucking twist. It’s like being tortured by the Iraqis, you know where you get woken up every five minutes to partake of disturbing images. I swear I have to leave her company at regular intervals just to rest my eyeballs. They spin in my ocular nooks like an aging raver on bad skag.
Course, it’s great that she’s an active little kraken but she’s burning off calories faster than I can wedge them into her. I’m starting to wish she was one of the fat kids who spend eight hours a day glued to the telly. At least she’d be in the same position after each of my fevered blinks.
So, is this normal? Does every four year old twitch as if they’ve wedged a piece of Lego up their fundament? And if so, how in the frig am I, the Kraken, expected to survive it, especially seeing as polite society frowns upon the use of basements and restraints?
Oh, don’t tell me. Resistance is futile, isn’t it? So instead of fighting it perhaps I can turn it to my advantage. Once I get Conjugal Kraken to pin her down I’m going to surgically attach mop heads and dusters to her ever-frisking limbs before retiring to my bed. Kraken Junior can be put to good use, the cave will finally stay clean and I can sport a cold flannel over my eyes for the next ten years. Win win, innit. Well, innit?

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