Ten Things Not To Do…In The Event Of Sex

Essential advice for when you are most in need. Please don’t listen to any of it.

  1. Don’t suggest you both sing the national anthem at the end.
  2. Don’t ring up your intended and have phone sex based on what you happen to be watching on the Discovery Channel at that point. E.g ‘I’m penetrating you at a fantastically fast rate and then I’m going to eat your offspring, and then pretty much just fuck off.’
  3. Don’t count.
  4. Don’t start crying uncontrollably at any point about the crisis in the Syria.
  5. Don’t say ‘hurt me’ in a sweetly suggestive manner, and then scream for ten minutes straight when your partner obligingly tweaks your nipple.
  6. While the other person is undressing, don’t clap.
  7. Don’t, when you and your prospective fuck-bunny are getting cosy in the lounge, suddenly produce bleech, brillo pads and slug pellets and then walk out the room with a wide-eyed stare.
  8. If a pretty young thing has agreed to come back to your place for ‘coffee’, don’t make the hot beverage and then try to force it down their throat very quickly, muttering impatiently ‘come on, come on!’
  9. Don’t keep narrowing your eyes and shaking your head very slowly when the other person nears climax, especially if you’ve personally had several orgasms by this time.
  10. If you fail to find a woman’s G-Spot/clitoris/vagina, don’t punch her square in the face and say ‘Did I get it that time, HMMMM?!’

Crossing The Border

I once entered America.

I was on foot. I walked across water by means of a bridge. The Rainbow Bridge they called it. It was not rainbow coloured.

Border crossing at Niagara Falls

The bridge stretched betwixt Canada and America. Niagara Falls Ontario, and Niagara Falls New York State. Underneath and beside it was some water everyone was pointing at. At one end was a door marked “To the USA”. At the other, a small secure office in charge of all remaining doors ahead of us. A miniature version of airport security. 

“Now listen here,” I whispered to the other half as we stood in the queue. “NO monkey business, no jokes, no messing about – you screw with US immigration, and they will fuck you up.”
“You’re overreacting.”
“Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve travelled a lot more than you. Don’t try to be funny at any point. Just tell them the truth – we’ve been to Canada and we’re taking the train to NYC tomorrow. Nothing else.”
“There IS nothing else.”
I was confident; I knew how to handle immigration. A quick flash of an Irish passport and, like every European country I’d visited, they’d be putty in my hands.
I approached the counter and was faced a man who was probably the God of Police – clean cut, cool, piercing eyes. He had a look that seemed to say: “I ate live cobra for breakfast and then made sweet love to my wife, and I barely broke a sweat.”
The fear took hold of me. This man had seen things. Weapon things. He was too calm and yet too relaxed, and it was as if he were handsome on purpose. I wanted to take my passport back, for it would do not good here, but he already had it in his grasp. Soon, I was sure he would muse: “Ireland, eh? I heard there was some trouble there a few years back with some bombs…”
Police God checked our paperwork, and asked about our trip. I answered as planned – suddenly it all felt like a big plan. He gave nothing away. I chewed my lip and shoes.
Suddenly, it was time for a photo. He pointed a web cam at me, “Time for your glamour shot.” My hair, soaked from falls spray, was a scrunched mess under my hat. My makeup had melted away, and I had marks on my nose from my sunglasses. I removed my hat and tried not to look like a lunatic.
Photo done, Police God turned to my partner: “You are a lucky man, sir”
Foolishly, I relaxed.
“Ha,” I smiled to no one. “I see sarcasm is alive and well in the US.”
The office went quiet. The sky clouded over. The Falls stopped falling.
Police God was looking at me sternly. In fact, the whole of America seemed to be leaning over their desks, looking at me sternly.
I had to say something smart, and I had to say it fast.
The whole of American let the word sink in for a moment.

Police God handed back our passports. “Have a great time in the US.” He turned to me. “Don’t get arrested.”

Outside, the beau gave me one of his looks. I objected: “He had a GUN! But come on, at least we’re here now. America!”

Some of you may have never visit Niagara Falls NY, so you won’t know.

We trekked 1.5miles past several known crack dens to our hostel. (I know. A hostel – me!). The hostel owner greeted us, and began marking recommended places of interest on a street map for us. “This is the best route to get back to the falls DO NOT use it after dark, here is the restaurant district please please please stay away from the empty buildings here…and here…and here…”

By the time she was finished, most of the map had massive black crosses through it. And one skull and crossbones.
Later that night, beau and I stood on the US cliffs, looking back at Canada. Against the thunder of the falls, you could hear Canadian laughter, music and song. I squinted in the evening sun at dots of children skipping along the paths, lovers holding hands and giving each other diamonds, street vendors handing out cotton candy, giant beers and maple-flavoured lobsters. A man tripped on a kerb, and several Canadians instantly gave him their cars.
Behind us, in America, I could hear a gun being fired at a cat. I missed Canada.

Niagara Falls, crossing the border
Between two worlds

If you are planning to cross the Canada/USA border by foot, all you really need to know is here at Niagara Falls Live.

Happy New Year, There Is No Hope

New Year is upon us. Some of you are back at work. I’m not. I’m sooooo not.
Now, I had started writing a post about 2014, new year’s resolutions and my thoughts on this period of transitional panicking. But the time is still not right for me to share these musings. First, you must see where I have come from.
So instead here is a piece I wrote a while ago, in 2013. I think you’ll find it has that ‘new year, new outlook’ feel we’re all looking for at this time of year…

There is no hope.
I write this while staring at my screen, slightly concerned. The Great Machine of Work has shut down for the day, and others have gone home, in search of respite, wine and grievances. But I am still here. It matters not where I am – if I weren’t in my chair, I’d be in my car, gripping the steering wheel, not moving from my parking space. Or I’d be at home, pressed up against the windows of my freezing house, wide-eyed and mute.
I’ve been here 20 years now. I think it’s been 20 years. It probably hasn’t. Maybe I’ve been here 5 years. Or 3. It’s definitely either 3 years or 20.
I had plans, such plans. By this age, I was supposed to have become a big shot, the kind with fame and respect and hair that just won’t quit. I was supposed to have been famous by the time I was 30. Sure, I’ve been moving the goalposts since I was 21….but it really all should have been sorted by now.
I should have been paid to act by now.
I can do all the acting – walking, talking, looking, standing still, hands. Sometimes all at once. I’ve done a few am dram shows, and they were good. Really, they were good. People said so, no one tried to burn me at all. A big name director should have been wandering past the local theatre one night looking for a good time and, in the middle of paying for his or her hooker, been distracted by the sound of my loud, pointy voice. In they should have walked and instantly fainted at my awesomeness. Then they would rise, and faint again, and again, until it got distracting for everyone. I would have signed a fancy contract then and there, and be living in a lovely character flat in Notting Hill, reading scripts and hate mail. (I hate Notting Hill but apparently it’s a really big deal).
Then again, it’s more likely that a director wandered into the theatre and sensed that I occasionally get mildly fat, so you can’t blame the casting world for ignoring me. I’m thinner now though. Thin, and dead behind the eyes.
I should have learnt an instrument by now.
That was one of the things I was absolutely meant to do, and I make a point of resolving to do it every January to prove it. But this year I have been distracted by a series of things and stuff. Unlike last year, when I was preoccupied by matter.
I’m sure I can play the piano… I’ve had lots of lessons over the years, and I found D7 the other day by accident. But I haven’t practised. I really should have practised more in the last 11 years. Maybe it’s the piano’s fault; I don’t think it likes me. I tried to learn the guitar too, but I ended up learning that I should not try to learn an instrument that my other half is much, much better at; it leads to wide spread smashing of items. As a result, I remain terrible on any instrument, alive or dead. Apart from the saxophone. But that’s no help to me or to mankind.
Having musical backing would really help all those songs I’ve been writing. It would elevate them beyond ramblings I shout/sob in the car. And I am almost entirely certain that anyone who heard them performed in a cute night spot would be both moved and aroused. Though they would have to question why they were in a ‘night spot’, it being not New York or the 1940s or an existing place. People would clap, and ask for more, and point at me in the street, weeping openly (for both good and bad reasons). But I have no means of accompanying myself, and what with my crippling fear of asking other musicians to help me first lest they turn out to be a) terrible, b) outstanding but they hate me, or c) made entirely of bees, the songs stay stuck in my head.
I should have written a book by now.

I started one a couple of years ago, but foolishly choose a weak idea when I should have been working on the one good idea I had. The good one is easy, but the ex claimed he had a similar idea that he wanted to work on (which translates as do nothing with it and then accusing Terry Pratchett of stealing it). So I tried to work on the awful one. I sent to a lady who knows about books. After reading it, she travelled to my house to spit at me and then ran over my neighbour’s kids. She was right to do it. In hindsight, I’m not entirely sure she worked in publishing at all, but her feedback was invaluable nonetheless.

If I wrote a proper book, Neil Gaiman and I would be friends. There is absolutely no way that could not happen. It’s just good sense.
Facebook tells me that other people are doing more things than I, with more panache and wider eyes. I see them online, throwing their tasks in my virtual face, posting pictures and sharing their artistic integrity with no regard for my inconsequential feelings. I should be somewhere, like them – these people who are unquestionably real, these seldom seen acquaintances and their always positive posts, these figures I know only by their fixed status smiles!
I should be something by now, surely?
…..I know. I know. Me and my talents should be doing more, and planning less. I should be doing what I am supposed to do, not what I expect to be doing.
But maybe tomorrow will be different. Maybe tomorrow will bring better advice.