Some Thoughts on Domestos

I did a reading as part of Middlesbrough Literary Festival on Saturday afternoon. I video’d it and I miiiiiight put it on YouTube but on the other hand maybe it would be best if I didn’t and you imagined it was packed and I was great.

Anyway, they wanted short stories and poetry so I wrote this on Saturday morning.

Some Thoughts on Domestos

Domestos! Kills 99% of germs, it’s true,
But it kills 100% of rabbits too.
They don’t put that on the bottle, do they?
Ever wonder why? No? Well, OK,
But I have, and this is what I think:
It wouldn’t sell more bottles, ‘cos if you were standing by the sink
And you glanced towards the toilet and you saw a little bunny,
Sitting in the toilet bowl all twitchy, furry, funny,
Your first reaction wouldn’t be: “Hey Audrey, get the bleach!
And not that own-brand stuff this time, I think it’s time we teach
These furry u-bend trespassers that I will not be messed with.
Get. The. Domestos.” You wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t. Well, I did
Just once, and my toilet bowl’s been free of rabbits since,
And my sink and lino floor are clear of dirty rabbit prints.
Oh, and also? Domestos kills 100% of tigers too.
I think. You’d have to use a lot of it. (I’m banned from the zoo.)

Jeffrey Lewis

It’s been a Jeffrey Lewis week. Heard and loved “Anxiety Attack” at the weekend, then went to the new Zine shop in Boro where I spotted a comic drawn by a Jeffrey Lewis, which I thought was an odd little coincidence, but then it turns out it’s the same Jeffrey Lewis, and he self-publishes comics as well as writing songs about what happens in my head. Then I get to Peg Powler gallery on Tuesday night to do a bit of faffing with The Story of Grass exhibition, and Rebecca says: “Hey, Gus chose the music that’s playing. It’s Jeffrey Lewis, have you heard of him?”. So… lots of Jeffrey Lewisness in my life just now. He seems like an interesting dude.

I really like this song because it’s funny and it asks some good questions about the kind of life I have found myself leading.

I was thinking this on the L train, intent on bursting my own bubble
How long should an artist struggle before it isn’t worth the hassle?
And admit we aren’t fit to be the one inside the castle
This quest for greatness, or at least hipness, just a scam and too much trouble
But then what makes one human being worthy of an easy ride
Born to be a natural artist you love or hate but can’t deny
While us minions in our millions tumble into history’s chasm
We might have a couple of laughs but we’re still wastes of protoplasm

Ah, well now, waste of protoplasm is going a little far. Sure, my protoplasm could have bnen used for other things, some of them quite beneficial to humanity, I imagine, but on the other hand would that protoplasm have been quite so good at drawing giraffes?


I went to AJ Garrett and Rebecca Little’s inaugural Zine workshop at their fantastic new Zine PopUp Shop opposite Binns on Newport Road in Middlesbrough. If you’re in the area, I absolutely recommend you drop in. They have loads of small-press goodies to browse and buy, and you may find yourself photocopying your own zine before you leave. I hope you do. I drew this. Couldn’t really say why…

Christmas Song

Happy Christmas every one! More of that melancholic triumphalism I love so much. Bit sad, bit hopeful, bit like Twin Peaks – pretty similar to the inside of my head. Nice going, Mogwai. Off the Mogwai EP, proably the best thing they ever did. Apart from that t-shirt with the Batman logo, I liked that a lot too.

Mitch Hedberg Joke Evolution

Two Mitch Hedberg jokes:

Spaghetti… I can’t eat spaghetti, there’s too many of them. No matter how hungry I am, 1000 of something is too many.
– Mitch Hedberg

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.
– Mitch Hedberg

So these two are pretty much the same joke, but for me the rice joke is better, and I think it’s obvious the spaghetti version mutated into the rice one at some point. Or God changed it, whichever. Anyway.

Why is the rice one better? Because…

1. The rice joke is more absurd. The spaghetti joke’s “I can’t eat two thousand of them” – well, who could?

2. The first one is not quite true enough – there aren’t 1000 bits of spaghetti in the average bowlful, but there are more likely to be 2000 bits of rice in a meal. Maybe. Look, I haven’t counted them (or if I have I’ve blocked that particular evening out of my memory) but it certainly seems likelier, doesn’t it? The closer a joke like this comes to the truth, the funnier it is.

3. The rice joke is a positive, which suits Hedberg’s free-wheeling persona more than the negative of the spaghetti version. Point of view is incredibly important when writing jokes for stand up. A different comedian with a different persona would be able to spend five minutes shouting about how he doesn’t have time to eat 2,000 of something, but Mitch was a happy-go-lucky one-liner merchant.

4. Fuck it, rice is just funnier, isn’t it?

5. It is.

The Story of Grass Flashes Before Your Eyes

Imagine these are your final moments, and this is what you see as the tiger lazily licks its lips/the fallling piano’s shadow pools around your feet/The Hooded Claw tightens the knots and raises one deliciously evil eyebrow as the train approaches with a TOOT TOOT.

Has this been a good llife? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Things to do before you die:
buy a copy of the story of grass.
or two, in case you break one.
the rest, I dunno, freestyle it.