Posted tagged ‘The Fall’

Chopped Liver – How I Wrote P-lastic Man

August 22, 2011

I’m still here.

Still alive.

Still feeling grreeaatt!!!

And still moaning.

Went to Whipsnade Zoo at the weekend. Went with Wee D, Canny K and his two boys. It was a lovely day (bit of advice if you go there with young kids – take scooters! they all have them).

As you know it’s nice for kids to come away at the end of the day with a little gift – a little toy – just to round off the day and give the kid something to remember the day by – oh, and to play with on the way home.

But there was a time, was there not, when you could go into a gift shop and select the quality from the tat? Not any more. Not at Whipsnade. I have never seen such a pile of kak in all my days.

And what they charge for this kak? Unbelieveable. A piece of plastic rod with a plastic animal head on it.

£3 to you sir?

No, not 3.

How about £4?

No. Not 4.

£5? Nope, not even £5. This is your lucky day sir.

What, you mean £6? Hey, since it’s you sir, I’ll add a little bit more on top – £6.50 to you sir.

Wee D – I am not paying £6.50 that piece of rubbish. So he starts picking up other things to see what else he could have. £6 for a crappy plastic car. Corgi? No. Dinky? No. Matchbox? (I really am showing my age). No, these are Made In China.

That well known make that is on the bottom of every last piece of garbage in this shop. £1.75 for an eraser? Yeah, right.

You know I think maybe Wee D realised what a load of rubbish it all was – he genuinely seemed to struggle to find anything he really thought was worth either a) pestering me for or b) more than two pence.

Which leads me to one of my persistent bugbears in life. That of the continual demand for cheapness over quality. It happens in all walks of life. In business especially. There was a time where you could go to the stock room in the office (yes, there was a time when an office had a stock room) and pick, say, a pack of Post-It Notes. That was until Mr Supplier came along and asked Mr. Purchase Manager how much he pays for his Post-It Notes. Mr. Purchase Manager says “x”. Mr Supplier say “x divided by 2” and voila! Mr. Supplier gets a new client (he’s happy), Mr Purchase Manager saves money (he’s happy) and Mr User is totally hacked off ‘cos the replacement to the Post-It Notes does not do what a Post-It Note should do – STICK.

And the same goes for the pile of kak to be found in many shops up and down the land, toy shops, Stationers and Gift Shops,  like the one at Whipsnade Zoo. Mr. Purchaser at Whipsnade Zoo says – why pay “x” for a piece of kak to be sold at “10 times x” when you could pay “half of x” and sell at twice the price?

"heh heh, who's laughing now?"

In short, we don’t get the choice of quality anymore. It’s tat or nothing. We have to accept that. As long as there’s a massive country like China willing to exploit its own workers by crowding them into sweat shops for meagre reward and as long as there are western countries willing to choose cheap over quality and as long as there is a significant and silent world populace willing to purchase the tat (except me) (on this occasion at least) then the equation will stay the same.

The question is – can the tat get even worse? Or have we reached the nadir?


Chopped Liver – C.R.E.E.P

March 17, 2011

Well I like that title – even though probably only @drobeirne and @markEChaCha will get it.

Y’see today was E.R.C.P. day.


This is a long tube thing pushed down the throat that has a camera and a Swiss Army knife on the end. They don’t know what they might find when the probe down so they need to equal themselves with all the features of said knife – just in case (though I can’t imagine they have a need for the toothpick).

So this morning I was Nil By Mouth as I made my to the ‘ossy where they took my blood and fitted a cannula (that please you gore-mongers?) and I waited till they got the results before being admitted I’m to start the procedure.

You usually gag when the tube is inserted so I had prepared a particularly funny gag!

But then the doc who was go perform the procedure came up to me and announced that after checking my bloods they found that my clotting levels were at too dangerous a level – so performing the ERCP would create a high risk of internal bleeding and that under no circumstances at all would they even think about risking it.

So operation aborted. Bile bag still in situ – for another couple of weeks or so – and another day where I have learned just how sensitive the complete makeup of the body is – everything has to be spot on otherwise potential great dangers lurks.

Chopped Liver – That’s Hip…Hip…Hip…Hip…Hip Priest

February 8, 2011

The rest of this post will be as confusing as the title, don’t worry. I could’ve written about me waking up in the early hours of this morning and planning how I am going to react when I get the Liver Call – and whether I should write a blog post about it now rather than leave it to reflect my actual live mood of the time. I think the latter is better.

But I did mention a couple of days back that I had a Silence of the Lambs story. So, here it is. It’s not really my kind of film – not really into gore and horror – unless it’s happening to me!

But I did find myself watching that film on the telly box one day many moons ago. And it builds up to a climax, doesn’t it? In fact I would call it a crescendo. The final scene has a lot of fast camera work and loud sound effects going on. Well, my attention was drawn to one of the sounds in the mix – deep down in the mix – I thought I could hear the unmistakeable Manc twang of Mark E. Smith belting out one of The Fall’s “classics” – Hip Priest.

But of course it couldn’t be. This is a Hollywood blockbuster. Why would they be having an obscure Fall song in this film, especially so far down in the mix.

But it meant I had to wait for the credits to roll – and what do I see? The Fall. Hip Priest. Performed by The Fall. Available at few record stores, and some pretty obscure ones at that.

So, there you have it. It is possible, tho’ unlikely, that someone reading this will be interested in this fact. Most will wish I’d written about my moods and plans of 6 a.m. this morning. Perhaps @drobeirne will be interested. Who he? Ah, now that is another story!

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps

Chopped Liver – We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang

January 18, 2011


September ’77.

First Night as a student at halls of residence.

Last Night of the Electric Circus, Manchester.

No Contest.

For the record the Electric Circus was as much a circus as Monty Python’s Flying one – i.e. not at all.

It seemed strange for me to be gate-crashing some town’s farewell party, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

On the bill, amongst others (I could easily go online and produce the line up verbatim, but I prefer to do this from memory – sometimes its more accurate!) were Buzzcocks headlining, Magazine’s first ever live performance – they did 3 songs including the classic Shot By Both Sides, and a cover of Beefheart’s I Love You, Big Dummy.

I was learning. Every minute that went by I was adding to my education. Throughout the evening, the DJ kept playing Holiday In The Sun – the new single by the Pistols – this added to the Electric atmosphere of the Electric Circus. Other bands that may or may not have been on the bill included The Fall, who were shortly to become my favourite band then, as now (as they supported Magazine’s first proper gig at Rafters a few week’s later) and a band called Warsaw.

Warsaw were soon to rename themselves – as Joy Division – and become arguably the most influential band of that period and to this day.

Liver Will Tear Us Apart

Following the suicide of lead singer, Ian Curtis, within a year or so, the band carried on and renamed themselves again – as New Order and achieve worldwide success.

Warsaw. Joy Division. New Order.

What’s it all about? What’s with the names? Why have they been able to stroll through the left-wing music press unhindered and unchallenged over this apparent obsession with the Nazi regime?

It’s always troubled me. I find it hard to listen to their music as a result. They can excuse themselves by saying it’s all down to art, or subversion, or whatever – it doesn’t wash – not with me.

Once may (I say “may”), twice – NO, that’s too many. But thrice? It’s an obsession.

And I, for one, think they should have been called to answer.

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps

Chopped Liver – Ashes To Ashes

November 24, 2010

How predictable, I know.

On the day the Ashes series starts, I have to use that song title.

But it’s not accidental – I’m doing a little test y’see. I figure that there will be many people – at least 6 – who will be searching in Google for the word Ashes today – and I want a piece of it.

So, that’s my test. And it’s not too foolhardy. Y’see, I posted an obscure Fall song title (Mere Pseud Mag Ed) some months ago (eh, they’re all obscure, – Ed) and somebody stumpledupon it just yesterday and opened my blog. See? Now get lost, Ed.

But this is one of British sports’ great days – the first ball of an Ashes tour. Who can forget the first ball of the last Ashes tour down under?

it's no good - need to find that contact lens

Oh, Steve Harmison – (no Harm My Son) – his whole career defined in that one critical ball bowled. A whole series mapped out in that one ball. The hopes and aspirations of a nation quashed in one ball – the very first.

Oh no, I am not exagerrating. David Cameron today said that “the whole nation” is behind our boys. So it must true. My guess is that most of the nation do not even know it is taking place – and care even less – but who am I to argue?

So Ashes to Ashes it is then. I’ll stick in a little reference to David Bowie – just for good measure.

I do think it is more than a little sneaky though of the Aussies to make the Brits start playing cricket at midnight – why couldn’t they play at a normal time? – at least then the 6 people that are interested can watch it – unless “I’m an X-Factor Celebrity Get that Apprentice Out of here – this is Strictly a Masterchef Hell’s Kitchen” is on the other side.

A couple more references thrown in there – anybody spot them?

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.

Chopped Liver – So What About It?

October 8, 2010

Following yesterday’s meeting with Smiler, I feel it may be time to hold back a little on my blog posts. Y’see, given that my condition is stable, and that there is a shortage of available livers, and that there are people ahead of me on the list who are more needy, and that there may well be people not yet on the list who may jump in ahead of me – well, in short, what have I got to write about?

You’ve heard enough about most of my body parts to make you feel you know me inside out. You’ve heard all of my jokes. You’ve read enough song titles to make you think that all I have left are hundreds of obscure Fall songs – some may well say that all Fall songs are obscure – I may respond that that is simply The Lay of the Land.

So you see, I have reached the point where it is only I who understand my jokes – and even I think they’re pretty crap.

To be serious for a second, the whole point of this was to go through my emotions and trials and tribs as I head for transplant, and my post-transplant recovery – I didn’t want to become a global hypocondriac – you didn’t need to know about my sore hand and leg (both getting better now, thanks) or Weedy’s skelf, or even about the passing of close family members.

So, unless I change my mind, I am no longer going to commit to a daily blog – but will write whenever I have something to say. So What About It?

Now there… are 3…. steps to… carry a donor card – ooh, wap wap!
Just follow steps 1, 2 and 3.

Chopped Liver – Popcorn Double Feature

October 5, 2010

Yes, there is a song about Popcorn – two in fact that I know of – the one I have chosen by The Fall, and of course the early 60’s hit by B Bumble and the Stingers.

Bridge was the slowest ever tonight – and included one near fatality – and that was NOT me on my partner! And it involved Popcorn.

I am now hastily writing my new detective novel – Death By Popcorn. Actually mustn’t be flippant, she seemed in a pretty bad way – hope you’re ok S – gulp, what if she’s not?

Anyway my hand still aches, my leg aches, and now PC is coming out in sympathy AGAIN!

Weedy has been barred from using my laptop now, the poor soul – he is distraught – but believe me, despite Parental Controls, what I found on the desktop “Caligula would have blushed” – so said Morrissey.

Tomorrow, it’s Gastro day – followed by dentist day. I have been given a form by my GP for an X-Ray on my hand – she still thinks it needs seeing to and is still swollen – if I can fit it in tomorrow I will do so – but more likely it’ll be Thursday when I have my Liver appointment.

I once had a post titled I’m a Walking Miracle – it sounds like I am the Walking Dead (with limp).

Hey, it’s almost midnight – gotta post – and attend to this bleedin’ computer.