Thursday, October 18, 2007

Desert Island Stig

You know when you get into one of those conversations ... the ones that start with 'If you could assemble the perfect man/ woman/ farmyard animal, whose parts would you use ...'? Well, I got into one of those conversations with a couple of mates last night.

When I was young and single and unfettered by amenity bills and mortgage payments, I lived a life that made Men behaving badly look like Monks behaving piously. I shared a house with two other guys - Steve the helicopter engineer and John the accountant (later replaced by Mick the nearly helicopter engineer). And we got bored pretty quickly. This was the early 1980s after all ... the days before video recorders, DVD players, home cinema systems and computers. We had to make our own entertainment in them days. So we did. It was called beer.

I drank too much. I smoked too much. I ate too much. I did other things too much. And my housemates did them even more than I did. We shared a three bedroom semi where all of the beds were broken; where the washing machine had been unceremoniously relegated to the garden to make way for barrels of beer, a cooling unit and proper beer taps; where the interesting pattern on the lounge carpet was made of blood, fag ash and stomped-in peanuts; and where every four weeks we held the most extraordinary parties: toga parties, vicars and tarts parties, come-in-your-pants parties ...

And when we weren't partying or drinking or smoking or drinking or entertaining ladies or drinking or drinking (there was a lot of drinking), we would sit around eating beans on toast (and drinking) and having deeply meaningful conversations like 'Top Ten cartoon characters you'd like to shag' (Betty Rubble always won of course, closely followed by Daphne from Scooby Doo and any one of Josie's Pussycats as long as she left the costume on).

But then, one morning, I woke up and found that I’d had a visit from the beer-gut fairy. And she’d been very, very generous indeed. I had to throw away my party clothes and climb into the only thing that would fit me – my boring old fart suit. And I’ve been in it ever since. These days, I’m paying for my youthful hedonism with an altogether annoying mix of ailment and abstinence. My back hurts. My knee hurts. I hardly drink. I packed in smoking 15 years ago. I still eat too much. But that’s all I do too much. Sigh.

So the only left-over from those days that I still indulge in is my penchant for inane conversations - such as the one I had last night.

After several fascinating and frequently smutty lists, we soon moved on to more sensible and non-controversial fayre like 'Name your Top Ten favourite movies/albums/songs' etc. Curiously, picking my Top Ten films was a lot harder than deciding whose thighs I'd graft to whose buttocks. Thing is ... people can tell a lot about you from the choices you make. Or think they can anyway. My Top Ten lists seem to say 'shallow British geek who likes a laugh and who is terminally stuck in the 1970s'. But you couldn't be further from the truth.

Or am I just deluding myself? You decide ...

Top Ten Films

1. Brazil
2. Plan 9 from Outer Space
3. Star Wars - A New Hope (Episode 4)
4. National Lampoon's Animal House
5. School for Scoundrels (original 1960 version)
6. Towed in a Hole (Laurel and Hardy)
7. Singing in the Rain
8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
9. Batman (original 1966 version)
10. Monty Python's Life of Brian

Top Ten Albums

1. Skylarking - XTC
2. Sweet England - Jim Moray
3. Sheet Music - 10CC
4. Vespertine - Bjork
5. Songs from the Wood - Jethro Tull
6. On - Echobelly
7. Tarkus - Emerson Lake and Palmer
8. Close to the Edge - Yes
9. A Night at the Opera - Queen
10. Marry me - St Vincent

Top Ten Songs

1. The Mayor of Simpleton - XTC
2. I've seen it all - Karine Polwart
3. Lord Bateman - Jim Moray
4. King of Rock and Roll - Prefab Sprout
5. Autumn Almanac - The Kinks
6. Birdhouse in your Soul - They might be Giants
7. Don't call me baby - Voice of the Beehive
8. Red - King Crimson
9. Life on Mars - David Bowie
10. Laughter in the Rain - Neil Sedaka

Top Ten Books

1. Last Chance to See - Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
2. The Throwback - Tom Sharpe
3. Watchmen - Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
4. The Pyrates! - George Macdonald Fraser
5. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K Jerome
6. Yes Man - Danny Wallace
7. Uncle - J P Martin
8. A Pelican at Blandings - P G Wodehouse
9. Wonderful Life - Stephen Jay Gould
10. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams

Oh all right. They were Denise Richards' thighs and Kylie's buttocks. Happy now?


Anonymous said...

Bjork? The Cocteau Twins? Karine Polwart? The Goodies, The Wurzles and Jonathan King I seem to remember oozing from your bedroom more often than not...

Stevyn Colgan said...

I see ... well,'Anonymous' ... just who was it that I saw buying 'The Very Best of The Goodies' on CD eh? Eh? Pots and kettles, matey boy, pots and kettles ...