Sunday, 3 June 2007

It's all about me you know...

the famous "we want a smoke in doors" riots of May 2007.
(never actually happened. Which was nice.)

Thirty plus days of the smoking ban have passed without the riots and mass hysteria that some, not me, may have predicted. I have been shocked that it has passed off so peacefully. Honestly I would swear that they have added something to the water to calm our brains. It's not just the smoking ban that has gone off without a hitch but there was the rather peculiar sight of Messrs Adams/McGuinness and Paisley in their new bizarre love triangle. This alone proves that we have all grown up a bit in this country, either that or we just don't give a rats ass anymore. Take your pick!

I probably threw the biggest smoking related tantrums. What a brat! But I have few if any joy's in my life, apart from the gentle and sweet love of Little Miss Manuel, and the gentle and sweet love that is hand rolling tobacco.

I couldn't be mithered doing a monthly review for May as you have read it anyway so why go over old ground eh. Instead here are some things all about me.

1. I like to smoke. I didn't start until I was about 19 which isn't very smart but I was trying to impress a girl. Not that she was. Impressed that is, she is defiantly female.

2. I love my Little Miss Manuel. We have been together for years now. We met when I was her boss in a coffee shop. We used to meet in a locked store for mid-shift "cuddles". Nice. Her parents have never met me. I am a secret.

3. I am very happily divorced. The first in my family to do so. Aren't you proud of me Granny? We were too young, simple as that. I was friends with her after we separated, then I hated her, now there is a very very slight thaw in our hostilities.

4. I have a son I never get to see. Can't talk about him though as it makes that vein in my neck stick out and I lose all control. Fuck it hurts.

5. I love my dad and my sister more than anyone in the world. Mum got sick the day after my 9th birthday. She went into hospital and is still there today, 25 years. Encephalitis, that's the cunt. I haven't seen mum in over 7 years. Can't do it. I have my memories of the before time, when dad was happy and my world was action man and ten penny mix ups. I love you mum.

6. I was born in Ireland but brought up in Scotland. Dad worked in a hotel that got bombed. So seeing as he had a young family and that the 70's in Northern Ireland were more than a bit moody we all decamped to Ullapool. Sheep farmers and fishermen, that's all there was in Ullapool. We moved back to Ireland in the eighties. Nice move dad, things were a real bed of roses then too, hunger strikes and all that.

7. I was a Goth from the age of 16 to about 19. Ironically these were some of my happiest days. Black, black, black my wardrobe was simple and easy. I wore make-up once to a Mission concert. I listened to The Cure, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Christian Death, Jesus and Mary Chain and other troubadours of love and happiness. My phrase of choice was "What's the point man". God it was a simpler, fun time.

8. I lost all faith in any sort of God when mum got sick. Dad took her on pilgrimage to Lourdes . I thought she would come back all cured and went slightly mental when she obviously didn't. Dad told me years later that he wasn't looking for a cure, he found the strength to carry on. I still don't bother with God, and He doesn't bother with me. So that's nice.

9. I have 5 tattoos. My favourite is the Mudhoney one. Its from the cover of their best off album. Little Miss Manuel hates the one I got on holiday in Thailand. It has my name and the names of two girls I met when I was out there. It's on my wrist and reads, in Thai, "Manuel" Sadie and Rachel forever in Thailand. NOTHING HAPPENED with me and these two girls. They were just good fun to be with. I got caught up in the emotion of it all. They were getting tattoo's done so I did too. If they had been getting things pierced I would have done that as well. My time in Thailand was without a shadow of a doubt the most exciting thing I have done in the last ten years.

10. I am very emotional and can cry almost at will. I choke up watching funerals on TV of people I don't even know. I must cancel my subscription to the Funeral Channel.

11. I support Manchester United but I don't go to Old Trafford any more. Not since Malcolm Glazer bought it over. He is a cunt and no mistake, and his sons are little smelly cunts too. I am a founder member and season ticket holder of FC United of Manchester, the breakaway club. For the fans, by the fans!

12. I once had a flirtation with the Socialist Workers Party. It was after I read NOLOGO by Naomi Klein. I went to a few meetings, "Women's Liberation, has the Fight been won?", and "The North of Ireland, the future". I went on a few rallies to support the striking Firemen and to "greet" G W Bush when he visited Hillsborough. But I knocked it on the head after a couple of months. Most people on the fringes where well intentioned and people who wanted to change the world for the good. But the pricks at the top were the worst sort of egotists. Plus I couldn't put up with all the "comrade" shite.

13. I own about a thousand Cd's and vinyl records. These cover the spectrum from Jazz and blues to Death Metal and Hippidy Hop. My favourite song ever is probably "Good year for the roses", Elvis Costello's version that is. Just so beautiful. I am not a record collector, those guys are just fucking weird. But you still cant touch anything unless your hands are clean and you are sober. And don't even think about going near the stereo.

14. I don't drive and have no intention of ever learning. I own two bikes, one is a Fly BMX, the other is a Kona Cruiser. (The BMX is for sale and I will listen to any offers). I am too old and wounds take too long to heal to be dealing with a BMX any more.

15. I have made mistakes in my life. Some very big mistakes. But I regret nothing and wouldn't change a thing. I am what I am (as Ellie said).

16. I am hairy. I have hair everywhere. As Eddie Murphy put it, "You ain't nothing but a well shaved gorilla". Hair everywhere except my head. I put this down to using three cans of hairspray a week during the Goth days. I had a very punk rock haircut. God it was cool.

17. My punk rock haircut got me beaten on numerous occasions. The little shites used to flick cigarettes and matches at it when I was on the bus. And people were always looking at it and stuff, which I liked of course. At it's, and my, peak it was 12 inches long, bald back and side and up the middle leaving a tight "u" shape. God, I thought I was the daddy.

18. My Granddad's last words to me on his deathbed were, "Get your hair cut". I did.

19. Favourite book is "Reasons to be Cheerful" by Mark Steel. Very funny.

20. Worst book ever read was "American Psycho" by Brett Easton Ellis. What nonsense.

21. Current book is "Death and the Penguin" by Andrey Kurkov. Dark and funny, and a wee bit sad.

22. I have no fears. I piss in the face of fear. Except heights, heights give me the Willy's.

23. I love being a waiter. You get to meet so many interesting people and no two days are the same. And there is a lot of flexibility. Bollocks to all that the money is good. End off.

24. If I wasn't a waiter I would be the manager of an American Fast Food Franchise. So I am very happy where I am at, which isn't an American Fast Food Franchise. But I would have liked to be an Architect.

25. I want a dog, but it just isn't practical what with the hours I work. i used to have lots of fish but my cousin off'd them when I was on holiday. And then he did for my cactus when I was away for a weekend. But I still like him.

26. My wife traded me in for our younger next door neighbour. I still miss him.

27. Liv Tyler makes me want to cry. She is so hot. She's no Little Miss Manuel all the same, but you know what I mean.

28. Despite what I write on this blog, I rarely drink. I used to drink a lot. Not to the point of problem drinking, just the same as everybody else. But one day I woke up and said to myself that I couldn't be bothered with it anymore. I didn't drink again for nearly a year. Now I only get drunk 3 or 4 times a year. I like red wine and Gin and Bitter Lemon. mmmmmmmmm!

29. I failed my eleven plus and this left me fucked up for years.

30. If you want to buy me something really nice please get me a painting by Paul Bell. He paints cows. And he is genius at it.

31. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" was Humphrey Bogart's favourite film, and is my favourite film too. That and "City of God".

32. I love a good list. My day would be a disaster without a list to guide me through. how sad is that?

33. I have a shitty short temper. I can fly off the handle at the drop of a hat and be placid and calm a moment later. This tends to leave people confused and a bit wary of me. My last evaluation at work had the wonderful line"You need to control your emotions during high pressure shifts". So I poked him in the eye with a fork and then helped him out to the ambulance. That's me!

34. I detest people who class themselves as "middle class". This normally means they are insecure cunts who want to shit over and look down on the people they believe are below them.

35. I'd like to be a tour guide when I get old(er). But I fear my dislike of people may get worse as I age thus ruling me out of such a role. Grumpy pricks don't make good ambassadors.

36. My favourite phrase at the moment is "Bate it up ye".

37. Least likely to be heard saying "No thank you sir I don't work for tips. Your happiness is all I need". Show me the money!

38. Americans are my favourite customers. And not just for their generous tipping, but because they seem to be genuinely interested in what you have to say. Bless their innocent hearts.

39. I don't vote. I wouldn't give the shite that make up local politics the satisfaction or credence. Self satisfying bastards.

40. No one has ever treated me the way Little Miss Manuel treats me. I worry that one day she will leave me. The age difference worries me too. Then I remember that I am fucking great and I calm down again.

41. I love being on my own but miss Miss Little Manuel when she isn't here.

42. I did ballet as a child. This is funnier if you know me. I am, shall we say, some what more rotund than I used to be.

43.9 11 conspiracists make me want to vomit. A group of madmen wanted to hurt your country, and succeeded in the worst way. End of story. Get over your-fucking-selves.

44. I used to boycott everything from Marks & Spencer (support for Israel) to Gap clothes (child labour). But in the end you give up such high ideals. Now I am down to boycotting Sky TV and anything to do with Rupert Murdoch and going to Old Trafford. Some boycotts are harder than others and I miss Old Trafford.

45. I consider Larry David to be a genius.

46. I love food and my favourite food at the moment is lamb, done perfect pink, served with good mash and caramelised carrots. Although pork chops, mash, and beans comes a close second.

47. I bought Little Miss Manuel and I a trip to Madrid and Seville for our summer jolly's. I paid for it with my tips from Christmas. Christmas at work fucking rocks. I cant wait for my hol's as we are going 5 star the whole way. Cause we are worth it.

48. My most favourite gig of all time was Sonic Youth in the Arts College in Belfast followed by Morrissey in Dublin. Both were very very sweet nights.

49. I hate Kav for writing 101 things. You have set the bar too high man, too high!

I will never do this again.

15 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

ellie said...

Wow, I just love these lists. So sad about your Mum and your son *hugs*
Number 10, 15 and 28 , me too.
Number 32 and 33 are my father!

Conortje said...

What a wonderful post. I feel like I've known you forever now.

Kav said...

I could comment on any one of those things but I'll jus give you an overall "fucking brilliant".

American Psycho was good though, as long as you skipped past the clothes descriptions.

Medbh said...

Take a bow, Manuel.
How illuminating and bold of you to open yourself up so much.
SO sorry to hear about your mother, the poor woman.
I had a big mohawk as well when I was a punk in my teens.
The Salad Days.

tallulahbloom said...

lists, lists, I love them and loved reading this one!

Old Knudsen said...

Only someone with something to hide would get pissed off at the 9/11 conspiracies.

Fat Sparrow said...

That sucks about your mom, to put it mildly.

I am a recovering Goth myself. Jesus and Mary Chain rocks, but I didn't see Siouxsie on that list, so minus five points for you.

JD said...

I just can't get enough of this blog. I'm not sure why. I mean, it's a good read (almost as good as Paddy's) but I think it's the fact that I have been in awe of waiters aver since my Pierre Victoire days. Have I mentioned them before?

I think I'll link to it when I get the chance.

By the way, I'm middle class. I have no interest in shitting on anyone, anywhere. But I am a very boring person who gets excited by commuting, so I guess that proves it.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

#22 I too fear getting pissed on from a great height.

I'm sorry about your mum, that's awfully sad and a hard age to "lose" her. It must be hard for your sister and dad too - I'm glad you're all so close - it must help. I miss the days of 10p mixtures too. It was another time; there can be no finer sweetie on earth than the fizzy cola-bottle.

Little Miss Manuel sounds like a gem. Don't worry about the age difference whatever it is. She sounds like she makes you very very happy.

I know Ullapool very, very well. It knows me as one of the Lewis ferry loiterers. I must have spent hundreds on fish-and-chips there over the years. I've had both exhilarating and vomitty times there depending on the Minch (which is a sea, people, not a social disease). A good friend of mine had her wedding reception in The Ceilidh Place. It was smashing.

toast said...


this is a great post.

You are spot on about American Psycho, it is absolutely terrible - i thought i was going mad when people would tell me how good it was, so i read 'less than zero' by the same author - the guy can't write, brett easton ellis cannot write to save himself

You can tho, and thats a great post right there.

More minge would have been good tho.

Manuel said...

Cheers everybody.

whyioughtta said...

*stumbles in, glasses crooked*....sorry I'm late. Awesomely excellent list, Manuel. Excellently awesome.

That Costello song rocks and I like how you worked in your injured murse. (#14)

Also, I concur with Fat Sparrow re: your mom. *hug and no words to say*

Isn't *this* *asterisk thing* so *0VER ALREADY*? I've go to's an addiction...

big gay al said...

imagine some cnut killing ur fish and ur cactus!!!!!?????

Manuel said...

LMM thinks its a cry for attention and more than a little self indulgent. But isnt that what blogs are for?

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