The talk last night went very well, and not just because we had bongos. There was a stellar line-up including brilliant original stuff from MyLoveLifeInYourHands, Joel Golby, Nell Frizzell and Craig Taylor. There was a lot of laughter and quite bit of pity, especially the latter for the stuff Biscuit and I performed.
If you missed the show you can catch up on what we performed here:
- Biscuit told this excellent story involving dwarf porn, lego and accidental winky texts
- I stuttered through the tragic story of a lovely lady I met at a film party, how I messed things up, and then made them even worse.
The bongos worked pretty well, although our bongoist Phil (who is a professional drummer that we met in the bar) got a bit distracted and didn’t quite bong as much as we would have liked. Still the rareness of the bongs made them all the more precious.
I also learned that when you own a set of bongos you can guarantee that you are the worst person on any form of public transport, FACT.
Someone having a loud conversation on a phone? BONGO Not any more. Smelling the carriage up with stinky food? BONGO They’ll get off an the next stop. I even had some scary looking dude cross the road to avoid me as I bongo my way home from the bus. RESULT.
I’ve had to hide the bongos from myself so I don’t get drunk on bongo power, it’s a constant danger.
So here’s a thing. We’re doing another blog reading. This one won’t be a fierce competition and hopefully Biscuit won’t decide to read a long story about periods, but we will be live, reading some stuff and you can come and laugh at our faces. In fact we’d like it if you did.
More importantly it’s being organised by the excellent Kit Lovelace of MyLoveLifeInYourHands fame (remember the dude we went to New York with) and will feature a load of other also excellent people reading funny things about relationships.
Not sold yet?
This will also be a rare chance to see proof that Biscuit isn’t dead and if you felt the need to heckle him about not writing more posts, well I wouldn’t have a problem with that*
If that’s not enough to tempt you there will be bongo action, a selection of hats and at least a couple of jokes that were considered too rude for Radio 4.**
If you say you like the blog we may even buy you a drink.
*Please do this after the show, heckling during a performance is an awful habit.
I’ve just had an amazing idea for a dot-com. It’s so good I’m going to put it on this secret blog in the hopes that a bored multi-millionaire spots it and emails me to buy the idea. That happens right?
Here is the problem: You never know what someone is like before you date them.
Solution: A website where people are reviewed by ex-girlfriends and boyfriends so you can find out what they are like before you agree to meet them for coffee. Sort of like Trip Advisor but with people.
Just think about it, knowing the sort of reviews someone had got from previous dates would allow you to skip a whole category of berks. It would be like trying to find the perfect hotel, but with people ‘I’m looking for someone who has at least three stars on empathy with access to a pool’ or, ‘Good value for money, better than I expected and very clean.’
It would be brilliant, or at least better than Klout (which is officially the worst thing ever but people still talk about it).
The only real problem I can see with it is that by asking previous dates to rate them you’d probably get a lot of negative scores. (NEVER CALLED ME BACK -5 points). Oh well that’s a thing for someone else to solve, I’m just an ideas guy.
Previously I had thought I was super easy going and didn’t care about anything about you, know, winning the bet. *ahem* I mean marrying my darling fiancée, but it turns out I’m quite picky.
We’ve looked at a lot of wedding venues now. Whole weekends have been spent stomping around country homes, museums and even slightly rubbish castles while a salesperson talks to you about seat cover options or maximum capacity numbers. That bit isn’t fun, but it’s over now because we’ve got a venue booked in and a date.
Here is what I have learned
- It is expensive, I’ve had to force myself to not think of the wedding in terms of motorcycles we could have bought because it breaks my heart.
- Things I don’t want: A bland function room, feeling like I’m in someone else’s house, a tiny dance floor.
- Things TP doesn’t want: A tent, seat covers, me to dress as a spider.
- There is a fun bit later on where you have an evening of ‘testing food’ for the ceremony. I can’t wait for that.
- Putting a deposit down on a venue makes this feel even more real than buying a ring. It’s really happening.
- Some people book their weddings three years in advance. THREE YEARS! We could be ruled by robots by then.
- Or sharks.
- You can hire ice-cream bikes, jugglers and even choirs but even if you’re thinking of using a military museum for your wedding they won’t let you play on the tanks or hold a musket.
- Don’t even bother asking about having an axe fight on the day.
- It’s very hard to resist doing a stupid theme, not that stupid themes are out it’s just there about three dozen we want to try.
- Choosing who to invite is hard, especially with couples because that instantly doubles the number.
- Also while working on the list you get strange urges to invite people just because they gave you extra chips or let your cross at the traffic lights. At the current rate we are likely to have a table just of people who have served me nice coffee.
- Deciding that you’re not going to invite members of your extended family because they are awful is lovely. I can’t recommend it enough.
- All brides have spreadsheets of information on venues and they trade them.
- Apparently the system is you get a rough list together, then venue hunt and then choose a date. Then you do nothing for a while until it gets closer to the time.
- We’re sort of at that bit now.
My old chum the art dealer is on Operation Lock That Shit Down (I still need a better name for it). She knows rings and stuff and has been a friend for years. Ideal for being an adviser. She was going to help with the picking and help me get ‘a deal’ but she’s off to Ireland for two months.
No help for me.
But she just happened to bump into a diamond dealer she knows in the street (yes that really happens). She mentioned my name and he’s going to do me a deal, apparently. He’s now in my phone as ‘dealer’ which may backfire as a plan (It does make me feel cool and edgy) but now I’ve got a contact.
We’ve just spoken. I’m going to go and see him on Monday and talk about rings. This does mean that I have to find out more about various types of cuts and what TP likes without arousing her suspicion.
He also said if I take a photo of her hand he can probably size it from that. GET IN.
Also now I’ve told a real person about the proposal, it feels a little bit more real. That’s quite scary. Still no turning back, this is definitely the right thing to do.
As with the previous post these are being written in real time and then posted later, and now back to the fun.
In ring news I have a colour. A friend recently bought a rock for his lady and this allowed me to bring up the subject of best colours while we were crossing the Thames on a bridge.
She answered sapphire*, but was slightly suspicious. I suppose this is the danger of dating someone who is extremely clever, or at least not a moron.
To cover up the rock chat I then changed the subject to best motorcycles of all time and why robots are so cool. I think I got away with it.
Also I asked a female chum some ring related questions and she is going help with picking out the item. Plus she has jewellery contacts so I can buy more rock for my money. Result.
I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to pay for it though, it’s all very well saying ‘One Month’s Pay’ but how do you eat for that month?
*I wrote down emerald in my notes for some reason. Maybe just to throw her off the scent. Or perhaps because I’m a moron.
I’ve got plans for this V. Day. They will probably go pretty well which will make a boring story. Instead here are three bad Valentine’s Days I have had.
1) The one with the gift
I’d been seeing a girl for a while. It was Valentine’s Day. I decided to get something from Tiffany’s for her. Just a little frippery. I also managed to pull in some favours and get a table at a super trendy restaurant.
I dressed in my smartest clothes and sauntered over the the restaurant a little early. Smiling to myself the whole time in a slightly smug way about how aces the evening I had planned was going to be.
She didn’t turn up. I got stood up on Valentine’s Day by my girlfriend. Never has so much pity been poured on one man while he eats bread sticks.
Lesson learned: Never smile in a smug way on the way to a date.
Fail rating: Moderate
2) The one with the costume
It was Valentine’s Day. I was single, so were most of my chums We were at university. Our logic told us that the nightclubs would be OVERFLOWING with girls who were up for some company. This was our moment. Our time.
We decided to up things even more by going out in costume, because like that always attracts girls. Fancy dress for the win!
I went out in my Storm Trooper armour (Star Wars, not Nazi). Let’s not go into why I had a suit of Storm Trooper armour, that’s a story for another time. Let’s just say that it looks AMAZING.
It’s like totally out of the films. The only problem is it’s uncomfortable and the helmet means you can’t see very well.
Anyway we went out to the club, and the Storm Trooper armour was causing a scene. I was like King OF THE WORLD. I had a few drinks and then hit the dance floor. Soon a crowd of girls were dancing around me. I was like the Fonze, but in white.
The dancing got a bit flirty. Not like sexy or anything, just you know. There was some co-ordination, we were rocking OUT.
This one girl and me. She seemed hot (my vision was very restricted) and we were getting on well. It was just us dancing together for hours. Some time later I took my helmet off to talk to the girl and see if she wanted to take the dance somewhere more private…
It wasn’t a girl. It was a man. With a beard. Called Patrick.
Lesson learned: I can’t tell someone’s gender while wearing my Storm Trooper armour. This might explain why Storm Troopers are such terrible shots in the films.
Fail rating: Low (Patrick and I became good friends)
3) The one with the flowers
It’s Valentine’s day. I’ve been flirting outrageously with a person at work. We’ve been for drinks but nothings happened yet, but boy, did I want it to happen.
I decided to get her some flowers for Valentine’s Day. Hours are spent fretting over the message (not too serious, fun, mildly mocking) and the flowers (£50 of flowers delivered at work, mostly Lilies, no roses.).
The flowers were ordered and I got to sit around smirking to myself about when they would arrive. They did. They went down well. GET IN.
Then some more flowers arrived. Some other blighter was trying to win her affection with plants. This would not do.
I found somewhere else that could deliver in the same day, ordered twice as many flowers and an even more amusing but like ‘here are some flowers I got you, but like what-ever’ message to go with them.
They arrived, and blew her away. In your face other flower buying man. I had won.
I’d won for about an hour. Then another bouquet arrived, and it was even bigger than the one I’d just sent.
Reeling from this I wondered around in a daze. Then I did the one thing I could do. I phoned the flower place and ordered EVEN MORE FLOWERS. Ha. He wouldn’t be expecting that right? This was bound to work. A message was composed and then a catastrophic amount of flowers arrived at work.
POW! Out of the park. I’d definitely won this time. There was no way I couldn’t have won, right? It was like Rocky and I’d just delivered a knock out blow. In your face The Man.
Wrong. More flowers arrived, they were so large it took two people to carry them. The whole office stopped working to watch two burly men manhandle a titanic bouquet to the girl’s desk. I thought about ordering more but it was home time now and I had ran out of money.
Lesson learned: When it comes to total war with flowers the only winners are the florists.
Fail rating: High – I was on the rice only diet for a few weeks because I’d spent too much. We did end up dating eventually but it was a disaster. I hate rice now.
Silly spontaneous presents are brilliant, whoever they come from. Unless the present is a secret scorpion in your pants drawer or a restraining order.
A great thing about relationships is that you have someone to get silly presents for all the time. They don’t have to be deep and meaningful or expensive to be a good present. They just have to make you grin or cry (in a good way, like when you get a new best gun in Borderlands).
The cool thing about them is that the better you get to know someone, the more the presents relate to a personal joy, secret pleasure or just appease the 5 year old inside.
I recently bought Jen a Lego minifigure. It was sealed in a pack so I didn’t know what I was buying and was in pieces so you couldn’t even stand at the display squishing all the packets to guess what it was. I remembered that I had it in my pocket when we were on the tube so gave it to her.
Disproportionate glee isn’t the phrase to use here! It made me think that I should get her a Lego engagement ring, one with one of those little transparent square one-block micro bricks as a diamond. It would be a lot cheaper but I’m not sure if that’s the sort of area where girls appreciate a quirky gift.
It’s fair to say that she got her money’s worth out of it.
After taking about 3 minutes to open the packet, she then spent about 5 minutes assembling the 6 pieces. Some of this seemed to involve throwing bits of the man on the floor. The figure was one of those soldiers with the massive bearskin hat that guards the queen. The kind that tourists try to get to move.
Eventually, after some gentle coaching on how to fix the gun into both his hands simultaneously the piece was finished and later took pride of place on the bedside table.
Because Jen is awesome, I picked her up yesterday and she said “do you want your present now?”. As I didn’t know there was even a present to be had I said “YES!” through the gritted teeth of excitement, closed my eyes and held out my hands.
On opening I discovered in my hand a packet of mother-loving Star Wars lego!!! YES!
I wanted to play with it then but didn’t think that I had time to put the spaceship together. Jen did say that it wouldn’t take long but I pointed out that a single figure had kept her occupied for about 10 minutes.
In conclusion, Lego is amazing. Girls who buy me Lego are amazing. Girlfriends who buy me surprise Lego are the best girlfriends of all.
Do you reckon that anyone has ever had a Lego themed wedding before?
The time had finally come for my actual proper girlfriend (The Theatre Producer) to meet my mum.
This was quite a big deal, because you know, mums and stuff. I’ve only got one parent left after the big C took away my dad so my mum represents 100% parent block vote.
Mum was in London meeting the parents of my sister’s fiancé. Yes, that’s happening, anyway after meeting them she had a free day on Sunday so I invited her around for banana bread and coffee.
The preparations begin!
I had to clean the house. The place Biscuit and I share would be described as ‘boy clean’ at the best of times so it required a big clean.
I had spent most of Saturday polishing things, scrubbing other things and swearing about how I couldn’t find any more sponges. On Sunday morning there was a second bout of cleaning followed by some banana bread making and then more cleaning.
Biscuit set the front path on fire.
He was doing some make-up work for a film and so had a load of alcohol left over from cleaning stuff. He decided the best way of dealing with this was to pour it on the path to the house and burn it. This gave our garden a spicy aroma of booze and fire as well as putting a weird pink stain on the path. The important thing is he contributed right?
Anyway, my mum met The Theatre Producer and they got on fine. My mum isn’t scary or anything like that and so it was a nice meeting. I made some sandwiches and we ate them as well as eating a lot of banana bread. I made a sandwich for my mum, but wasn’t sure of the rules for the rest of the sandwich making. Should I make one for my house mate too when guest are around?
After a few hours it was time for mum to get the train home so I walked her to the station and she told me she liked TP very much. It was as successful visit.
I’ve been dating the Theater Producer for over four months now. Yes proper dating, from when I asked her out after Epic Date #1. She thought we were dating before then but that would be a mistake like thinking the Earth was flat or that Indiana Jones IV was any good.
No really, I’m that bad at keeping relationships going. I don’t really do pets either. I’m so bad at relationships I think I qualify for disabled parking.
We haven’t really argued in all that time, although we will never agree over if the Y axis on a controller should be inverted or not – It’s a nerd thing to do with computer games, all you need to know is inverting is WRONG.
Here are some other unexpected benefits of being in a long term* relationship:
- They know how you like your coffee and you know how they like yours.
- You can force them to read books you like.
- Sometimes they buy you chocolates.
- They know to act impressed when you show them a picture of a dinosaur you made at work.
- Cheese toasties may be made for you unexpectedly.
- You have to pick up a lot of spiders and put them outside, even if you are just about to fall asleep.
- You may get into a slightly competitive game of ‘who can give their girlfriend the best gifts for no reason’ with your friend.
- Watching DVD Box sets takes ages because you aren’t allowed to watch the next one until they are around.
- If you give them a draw they will slowly take over your room.
- Apparently it’s never the right time to scribble on your girlfriend’s face when she is sleeping.
*By my standards which puts me at about the same level as mayfly or the half life of Seaborgium.