Cake it so

Last Friday it was my birthday (don’t worry, I didn’t buy you anything either), and for all my sins I spent it sunning my pasty white behind on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, pausing only to go swimming with dolphins in the bath-warm turquoise ocean, before possibly fetching myself another margarita.

As you can probably imagine, it was horrible.

However, as much of an ordeal as this all was, it paled in comparison to the emotional turmoil I had to endure after being informed that, in Zanzibar (for that is where I was) THEY DO NOT DO BIRTHDAY CAKE.

Pause for a minute and let that sink in. What kind of ‘country’ doesn’t ‘do’ birthday Cake?? You don’t ‘do’ birthday Cake, it’s just  a thing that happens. It’s always there. Like wind or mountains or Bruce Forsythe. You don’t get to suddenly decide that birthdays are going to be all about coconuts or something. You can’t stick a candle in a fucking coconut. That’s a shit way to celebrate.

I propose that, instead of the UK wasting however much money it is planning to blow on carpet bombing Somalia for the gajillionth time, why not put it to good use and start up a campaign to force the entire African continent to get with the program and jump on board the one-way express train all the way to Caketown (or possibly the Cake of Good Hope). Then they can understand exactly what it means to have yet another year of your life immortalised in fragile sponge and marzipan, sickly sweet and ever so slightly salty from the bitter tears of a life you have slowly wasted away.

Because, really, if we spent all that time colonising these countries during the days of the Old Empire without at least leaving them this one important bit of legacy, then we might as well just not have bothered.

If you do one thing today, make it sending a birthday Cake to someone in Africa.

BearGwills

Disclaimer: There might actually be some places in Africa that do birthday Cake.

Edit: I have also since realised that this post probably should’ve been called ‘I bless the rains down in Africa. Gonna Cake some time to do the things we never had.’

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He’s not the Messiah…

Because life is no fun if you can’t laugh at Kanye West.

So, what has modern music’s most vainglorious manchild been up to lately? Planning his second coming as the self-styled saviour of, err, pretty much everything, apparently…

According to the garbled stream of over-enthusiastic noise and grammatical errors that left his personal Twitter account sometime last month, Grandmaster Yeye’s setting himself up to follow in the footsteps of such powerhouse corporations as Apple, Nike, Red Bull, Cillit Bang and Hello Kitty by pulling together a crack team of genius brain-ninjas to blow a hole in the awesomesphere and take mankind to the next level of cerebral existence. Or something.

In his own words:

“I am assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors musicians, producers, AnRs, writers, publicist, social media experts, app guys, managers, car designers, clothing designers, DJs, video game designers, publishers, tech guys, lawyers, bankers, nutritionist, doctors, scientist,teachers…

“I want to put creatives in a room together with like minds that are all waaaay doper than me. We want to help simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel.

“I’m currently working on a new 7 screen experience. We can collectively effect the world trough design. We need to pick up where steve jobs left off. We would also like’ to design the MTV awards.”

WOAH there. One thing at a time, Kan-diggy. Let’s try and digest some of that info before you choke on the grandeur of your own ambition and the world never gets to appreciate its full, mind-expanding, paradigm-shifting, ego-fellating glory.

Reading between the lines, it would appear that Prime Minister K-hole has at last taken the final swig of cough syrup from his own uniquely psychoactive medicine cabinet and is now floating somewhere between becoming the black Alan Sugar and forming his own religious cult. While I’d love to believe it was the former (and that all this time he’s secretly been practicing his wide-boy Cockney accent to take over the starring role in the next series of The Apprentice), frankly I think it’s a little bigger than that…

In fact, given what the world has already observed of the man’s increasingly bombastic behaviour, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to imagine Sheik Ye-booty taking the next (and possibly final) step towards full-blown Messianic delusion and constructing himself some kind of crystal rocket ship deep inside a mountain somewhere, ready to take his newly-assembled group of sycophantic style artisans off to found a new colony on the moon.

What’s more, only a few days ago word surfaced in the media that the man was apparently ‘scouting for film locations in the Middle East‘.

Pah. Film locations. If you believe that, you’ll believe anything. That’s a reconnaissance mission for a covert rocket launchpad if ever I heard one. Mark my words, by the time we all wake up to the giant asteroid or tsunami or plague of terminal stupidity that is set to wipe out mankind before this year is out, ol’ Kanyesaurus will be piloting his diamond blingshuttle to the safety of his moon palace along with his cabal of superelite überdisciples, and there will be nothing we can do about it…

Then who’ll be laughing, eh? *

BearGwills

* Probably still me.

The Year In Pieces

Contrary to popular belief, the festive period is a pretty busy time for me.

In between the important business of consuming my bodyweight in cheese and maintaining a blood/alcohol level that’s somewhere in the Winehousephere (too soon?), there are crap ’80s films to be watched, naps to be had, family to be ignored, turkeys to be basted, paper hats to be worn and Christmas Cake to be devoured. As you can imagine, this is all very time-consuming business.

Thankfully, you can remain safe in the knowledge that my life will always include moments in which I am neither too drunk nor lazy to escape the fact that I should thrash out some words on here. And, in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d deliver some kind of Queen’s Speech-esque retrospective commentary on the year we’ve all just dragged ourselves through. As far as Christmas presents go, it’s not great. It’s better than a fucking Michael Bublé CD, but it’s not exactly a baby chimp on a Segway either. Just think of it as a family dinner that you’re being forced to sit through, where the turkey is moist and the gravy is flavoursome, but the guests  are all secretly plotting ways to kill each other to avoid having to come back and do it all again next year.

Sooooooo, 2011 – the foreplay of the Apocalypse. A cheeky reacharound from the cold hand of doom before we all lie back and prepare for full penetrative obliteration at the hands of 2012.

For many, 2011 was a triple-decker shit sandwich, served between two thick slices of indignation on a bed of misery with a side salad of frustration and disillusionment. Continued war, environmental disaster, financial ruin, revolutions, riots, redundancies, death, despair, fear, famine and Frankie Coccozza all helped make this the kind of year best tied up at the neck and flushed down the toilet along with all lingering memory of the matter. A year whose face has been cut out of all the photo albums and who people claim they’ve never heard of when questioned about in future.

But let’s not forget that 2011 was also the year that brought us Smooth Jazz Nyan Cat, Rupert Murdoch getting pied in the face, Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire, Fenton! (and its many parodies), the announcement by R Kelly that there will be 35 more episodes of Trapped In The Closet, and..er.. this blog. So, I guess you could say it hasn’t been a total plateful of AIDS.

And just think about all that we’ve got to look forward to next year… Mayan prophecies of fiery annihilation notwithstanding, 2012 will be the year that we celebrate another complimentary day-off-work-to-get-drunk courtesy of Queen Liz still kickin’ it; the year we accept two months of public transport hell in exchange for welcoming a ridiculously overblown sporting contest onto home soil (couldn’t we just have the Beach Volleyball and tell the rest to fuck off?); the year the Muppets return to the cinema screen; the year CERN discover the Higgs Boson particle and (hopefully) employ Michael J Fox to captain the first manned time travel expedition back to when things were still cool (and he didn’t have Parkinson’s); and maybe – just maybe – even the year that Cake Day becomes recognised as a mandatory national institution, enforced throughout the country in all schools, offices, hospitals, outdoor spaces and places of work, under threat of firing squad.

Admit it, it would be better than the year we’ve just had.

Here’s something sweet to warm your ventricles.

Happy New Year. Let’s hope we’re all still here to do this a bunch more times.

BearGwills.

Lmiaow

Everyone knows cats are like the crack cocaine of the internet.

You can take a perfectly sane, rational person. A businessman, say. He might have a wife and a couple of kids; a stable job; a house; a car; a group of friends who respect him; a family who loves him; a mother and father who are proud of him… Then one day he discovers pictures of cats on the internet, and it’s like that wonderful, well-balanced, white-picket existence he once enjoyed was never anything more than a tattered page in a discarded catalogue of memories, faded and forgotten beneath the caustic glare of his life’s new purpose.

Suddenly his family are of no interest to him. He doesn’t care about work. He stops calling his friends. He stops going out. His wife no longer excites him. His kids no longer delight him. Nothing of his previous self matters anymore. All he cares about is looking at more and more pictures of cats on the internet.

“Look at this one! It looks like it’s flying! And someone has written a poorly spelled, grammatically incorrect caption underneath! And this one! It has an expression on its face that could vaguely be interpreted as human emotion! (assuming cats are able to experience human emotion, and the desire to view them in such a light isn’t just some vain and self-satisfying exercise in anthropomorphism). And look at this one! It’s wearing a little Yoda outfit!”

This process continues until the man is no longer able to differentiate between the world of cats on the internet, and the real world he lives in. Now alone (his wife and children having long since left him) he can occasionally be seen staggering down the street to seek meagre sustenance, occasionally shouting ‘I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER?’ at random passers-by in the hope they might palm him a dry crust of bread or an old photo of a kitten in a biscuit tin.

From here it’s just a matter of time before he’s giving out handjobs in empty car-parks in exchange for five-year-old LOLcat pictures that everyone’s seen a thousand times before, but are all he has left. Soon he’ll be found frozen to death in the dank basement of a dilapidated and crumbling old house, the rigor mortis of his tendril-like fingers clasped around his one remaining possession. A photograph of his long lost wife and children… all scrawled with marker pen whiskers, and the words ‘I haz wasted meh lyf, LOLs’ written underneath.

Every year, pictures of cats on the internet ruin the lives of dozens of people like this man. Keep that in mind when you click the following link.

>Visit the Procatinator<

**WARNING. CONTAINS PICTURES OF CATS ON THE INTERNET**

BearGwills

Home Is Where The Ridiculously Overpriced Set Of Walls And A Roof Is

You know what else is rubbish? Moving house. Especially if it’s moving house in a city like London.

I mean, it’s not exactly bubbles and bowls of Lucky Charms moving house whatever city you’re in, but moving house in London is about as much fun as trying to locate a half-sucked boiled sweet at the bottom of a jar full of week-old gravy.

Yes I realise I’ve been looking for a house in East London – and area in such unfathomably high demand that you could literally stick a pillow in the leaking cupboard under your sink and charge some tweed-clad aspiring moustache model £680 a month for the pleasure of living there – but even in this hive of morally bankrupt opportunist landlords there has to be some watermark of professionalism beneath which not even they would stoop…

But perhaps not. Having now secured an agreeable roof over my head with two emotionally stable housemates, I can look back on some of the experiences I went through while househunting and laugh (albeit with the nervous and slightly hollow resonance of a person who has just been pulled to safety from the wreck of a burning car). However, there was a time when the prospect of achieving such a grounded set of living arrangements seemed so unattainable that it might as well have been a unicorn frolicking in a field full of leprechauns and flying pigs.

At one stage a particularly brazen and shameless combo of suit, teeth and hair-gel tried to sell me a room with no windows that shared a living space with a fully-functioning nail salon. The whole place reeked of chip fat and ammonia, the kitchen was a partitioned corner of the shop floor behind a hospital folding curtain, the cooker was a two-ring camping hotplate b2b a railway-buffet-car grade microwave and the bathroom was the equivalent of a disabled cubicle at your local Wetherspoons. A snip at £560 a month, I’m sure you’ll agree….

What’s worse is that, after I had told this money-grabbing oil slick just how many orifices he could stick this property in before he would ever catch me living there, some poor sap with less commitment to hold out for basic living standards will probably have snapped the place up and convinced themselves that this is ‘all just a part of being in the city’. The whole thing gets dressed up like some character-building exercise thrust upon you by the gods of metropolitan existence, designed to weed out the weak from those willing to make the ‘necessary sacrifice’ at the alter of dignity just so they can have an E8 postcode. Well, you know what? Bollocks to that. It’ll be a cold day in hell before you find me fighting my way through spot lamps and manicure kits to make my toast in the morning.

Still, like I said, I narrowly managed to avoid homelessness with a roof and a decent set of walls. As with anything in life – persevere with enough effort and eventually something will work out.

Alright, you’ve read enough of me bitching and moaning. Have this for your troubles.

Yes, that’s right. Tom Selleck. A Waterfall. And A Sandwich.

What more could you ask for in life? (Don’t forget to check out the official Selleck Waterfall Sandwich theme song on page 2).

You’re welcome.

BearGwills

Go ahead punk, Cake my day….

Look! Didn’t I  tell you it would be back? Didn’t I?!?

Yes, like a shining beacon of happiness and prosperity floating atop a sea of loneliness and disillusion, Cake Day is here to bring a whole mess of icing and cream and sponge and sprinkles to your Friday.

What with it being Halloween on Monday and all, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Cake Day to that particular Pagan-inspired cavityfest. I’m guessing most of these examples are American, and I’m not entirely sure when it became a tradition to bake a cake for Halloween. Here in England we’d have burnt you at the stake for that kind of behaviour.

Still, it seems to let out the creative side in some people… Look at that last one. It’s amazing.

  

 

 

What are you still here for? Go eat some Cake.

BearGwills

Repeat ad infinitum

Unemployment is unpleasant. We all know that. No matter how firmly you advocate living a life where getting up at 11am is considered a ‘good effort’ or where trousers are deemed an optional extra, the truth of the matter is that being out of work is fucking rubbish. Unless, of course, you’re of independent means and can afford to spend your days playing golf in your own private castle with the testicles of the poor, or whatever it is that the upper classes do with their time.

As much as we all like to bitch and moan about our jobs, they provide us with the means to enjoy such luxuries as food and walls – things you definitely start to appreciate when the security of your job-funded paycheck is pulled from underneath you without warning. I should know, as exactly that same thing happened to me earlier this year, along with countless thousands of others who have fallen foul of the cataclysmic economic rimshafting our country currently finds itself on the receiving end of.

The hardest thing about being unemployed is keeping up a routine (and no, tea > facebook > PornHub > shower > Jeremy Kyle does not qualify as a routine). Without routine, days lose all meaning and killing time becomes a pastime in itself. A lie-in becomes nothing more special than a source of relief that X number of hours have passed without you having to spend money or engage the increasingly decrepit cogs of your brain, and pretty soon you’re contemplating just how much of each day it is acceptable to spend picking your nose and flicking it at the vacuous faces of game show contestants on television.

You don’t need me to tell you that succumbing to that level of apathy – while fascinating in a morbidly voyeuristic sense – is not a healthy way to live. In fact, it’s about as healthy as a £50-a-day heroin habit, and only marginally less likely to ruin your whole life. My advice? Get a routine and stick to it every day, even if that routine consists of little more than forcing yourself to get up at a time that can still reasonably be termed breakfast. You might end up just writing the same old  job applications over and over again for weeks, but you’d be amazed how a bit of structure can keep you going when all other forms of motivation have long since left you for dead. Keep going, and eventually you will accomplish something.

Don’t believe me? Well then you can go and pick your nose and shoot as much heroin as you like…

OK, as promised, here’s your little present for having sat through all of that. Ladies and gentlebredrin, I give you EroticFalconry

BearGwills