I Insist

Twelve of us were called in one by one to sit side by side and learn about the different kinds of help the government is removing. There were boxes to tick, everyone should tick one, he said, some of them lead to learning and some of them lead to lunch. This one this one and this one will not be available next month. So now is the time to tick them. There were two spelling mistakes on the sheet and the boxes didn't line up like you'd like them to line up if it was you who was lining them up. You might as well line them all up in a happy column, you aren't obsessed or anything but also you are no slouch. Next to the last one were the words tick this box if you'd like the person who prints this sheet to raise their standards. If you'd like help with reducing your alignment-based rage and making your Oxford English Dictionary worship less furious, draw your own box underneath this box and tick the fuck out of that one why don't you. The department has no time for petty concerns. We are learning to communicate good.

Your Prospects Are Slugs and It Hasn't Rained In A While

In the pub opposite the coach station waiting for a coach, a man sat down next to me and I borrowed his lighter and he asked me how my weekend was. I said great thanks and asked him how his was and he told me it was shite and why's his real ale so fucking expensive then started going on about foreigners and how it's their fault this country's gone to shit they drain the system send em all back and I said what're you going to do to change it and he said I've just bought a house in Bulgaria.

He went away and was replaced by a man shouting into a phone about the fucking cost of his pint and the traffic and the expense and the foreigners and the expense and the traffic and the cost of his pint and the foreigners and the expense and the cunting eternity it takes to get anywhere in this fucking dungeon. I wrote a very long text on my phone and he finished his conversation and sat staring at me while I made my message longer and longer and sent it and put my phone down and looked up at him. He went scuse me mate are you drinking Stella and I said yes but I'm not getting another because they're three eighty and I don't have many three eighties left and he said do you want mine, I'm so angry at how much it costs I can't bring myself to drink it, and I said well thanks very much cheers yeah thanks a lot and he slid it across the table and stood up and went over the road to the station.

European Cinema

The Thor riots went largely unreported by the mainstream media. Thousands took to the cinemas to kick the piss out of Kenneth Branagh effigies. "It was his vision", they bellowed, "and he is therefore most blameworthy. But don't think we aren't also going to smash the teeth out of Natalie Portman's cardboard cut-outs, and the face and brains out of anyone who dares to go around resembling Anthony Hopkins."
And they did, and it went on for seventy five hours, and even those with no limbs turned up just to scream things like "Branagh is a wallet-raping dangleberry."
The cost of the damage is still being calculated, but insiders say the total is likely to be "nowhere near enough."
Hopkins has been fired into space, where he will be safe from the families of the goats, goblins and Cleveland Steamer enthusiasts who were slaughtered just for looking like him.
"I'm off", he said, in a statement read by his lawyer. "If I'd've realised how woeful the finished product would be, I'd've nailed Branagh's thespian ballsack to the wall of a public toilet and streamed his whimpering demise live on my website. Suffice it to say we are no longer on kissing terms. I hear the Chinese have had him placed under house arrest even though he lives in Suffolk. If you ask me, they should cover him in duck shit and stab his shins with a chisel until he's fucking dead."


The following week there was a riot re-enactment. People threw things again, the police charged through people again, at home the windows were open for the breeze and we couldn't hear Mad Men over the noise of the helicopter for four hours. Next morning the re-aftermath, the road still closed and people watching the police watching the people. Stories of wallopings and pummelment, summed up by a man slumped against a wall, head down, eyes closed, with a sign on his belly, red-on-white, that said: non-aggresive protest.