Monday, 23 March 2009

Gujaratis, Bruce Wayne and Friend Chicken

Life's been strange recently. Instead of blogging every excruciating minute piece of banality from my so-called life, I've been writing my new novel. While the industry has been in complete meltdown/downturn, some writer friends and I thought it best to start stockpiling material for when the dust settles the book-market upscales and hey, they need more brown-boy-material to fill the shelves. I've been working on this book in relative secret, only giving out sketchy details about small parts of it. Because I'm still in first draft hell, I haven't come up with the definitive killer sentence to describe it, the one-sell, the 'boy meets girl, girl kills boy, boy haunts girl' type sentence that makes people get it instantly. All I have is this abstract concept about what it feels like, and if anyone asks what it's about it becomes errr ummm errr well it's kinda like about this sort of thingy.

Some amusing and disgusting things recently:

1) Outside my house, an old Indian man is wandering up and down the street slowly, darting back to our house. We're watching him. He's definitely in the weirdo category. We leave the house for dinner. He stops and walks up to me just at the end of the drive.

'Excuse me...'
His eyes are red and tear-strewn, he walks with a lean over to his left side like it's boneless.
'Are you a Gujarati?'
'Yes I am.'
'I'm looking for Ashok Shah's house. He lives in Wood Green somewhere but I'm forgotten where. Do you know where he lives? He is Gujarati too.'
'No sorry.'
'I can't believe I've forgotten. Sorry.'

He limps off.

2) Teenagers are funny. They're so easily offended by some things and so quick to assert their awkward authority on others. I was standing on a crowding train next to two teenage girls who were sneering about their surroundings. They were particularly upset about the train being too busy to offer them seats. One of them became quickly outraged by a non-descript blonde boy on the other side of the carriage wearing one of those 'fashionable' faded vintage Batman insignia t-shirts. He looked bland, unable to carry off a conversation.

'Oh my god,' said the girl audibly to her friend. 'Look at his t-shirt. The Batman one. He's, like, a complete idiot. I mean I bet he doesn't even know who Bruce Wayne is. He's like his alter-ego you dumbarse.'

Weirded comment about a t-shirt ever.

3) Here's some proper ASBO behaviour. It's the last dregs of Sunday morning (11.45am), we're on a train hurtling into London. A man stands over the passengers with his girlfriend, both devouring fried chicken from boxes, daubed with ketchup, oozing grease. He has chicken fat smeared across his face. He keeps steadying himself with his greasy chicken hand, placing it on every handle pole and surface he can find. You're disgusting mate, and you only warrant a mention because that's the filthiest thing I have ever seen and you're the reason our tube is a putrid mess of dirt and annoyance and I hate you.

That's all for now. I'd tell you about the worst gig I had to cancel 20 minutes after its scheduled start and why the venue were pricks for making me turn up even though I knew no one would be buying tickets, but that's one for the memoirs, which I will begin stockpiling now for that inevitable book-upward swing.

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