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Archive for September, 2011

Ordering coffee in a Paris café

Posted by Alex On September - 27 - 2011

“Just a coffee please, Neil,” said Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Neil Codling from Suede placed the order in perfect French then smiled at Ellis-Bextor.

“You seem to speak the language very well,” she said.

“Yes, I lived here for a year or two,” said Codling. “If there’s a better city on earth in which to recuperate from chronic fatigue syndrome, I don’t know it.”

“It’s quite breathtaking,” said Ellis-Bextor. “The history, the architecture – it’s all so romantic.”

“Many an afternoon I would while away my time in the Louvre,” said Codling, tossing his head slightly to remove his fringe from his eyes. “I would sit there, pondering the many possible pharmacological treatments for my malaise, little knowing that the art surrounding me was the true cure.”

“Great art is so uplifting,” said Ellis-Bextor.

“That’s how I feel about Groovejet,” said Codling, catching and holding his companion’s gaze.

Ellis-Bextor’s face reddened to a colour ever-so-slightly pinker than bright white. “Well that was primarily Spiller’s work, you know.”

“Not at all,” replied Codling. “It’s the vocals that bring the humanity to the music. It’s that which touches the heart. It’s that which affirms one’s faith in mankind.”

“Spiller asked me to try and make my voice as emotive as possible,” said Ellis-Bextor.

“Is she banging on about fucking Groovejet again,” said William Shakespeare, strolling towards their table, voluminous breeches rustling with each step. “Sorry if she’s boring the tits off you, mate. She goes on and on about that fucking record. I tell her I’ll stick my boot up her arse if I hear the name Spiller one more fucking time, but she doesn’t listen.”

“On the contrary,” said Neil Codling. “It’s a topic that greatly interests me.”

“Well you don’t get it day-in, day-out, do you? It would be a topic that would piss you right off then, I can tell you.”

“Where have you been?” asked Ellis-Bextor, with overcompensatory enthusiasm.

“Well there’s a story,” said Shakespeare, brightly. “I have been at Cimitiere de Montparnasse. And do you know what I found there?”

“I believe Charles Baudelaire is buried there,” said Neil Codling.

“Too fucking right,” exclaimed Shakespeare. “I almost pissed myself. Who’s the fucking king of prose-poetry now, eh?”

“He was a great poet,” said Codling.

“He’s a dead fucker,” said Shakespeare, with a huge, shit-eating grin.

Looking out from Table Mountain

Posted by Alex On September - 20 - 2011

Shakespeare sat on a rock with his head in his hands, ignoring the striking and memorable views from the top of Table Mountain. “It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is,” he said. “I just get the feeling that it’s not working any more.”

Ronald McDonald looked down at his red and white striped socks, but didn’t say a word.

Shakespeare continued. “On the face of it, everything’s the same – we still interact the same way, we still appear to have the same sort of relationship. It’s almost like the subtext has changed.”

There was a long pause. Shakespeare remained motionless. Ronald McDonald looked up and turned his head towards the sun, squinting in the bright light. A soft wind made gentle whooshing noises from time to time, but other than that, all was completely silent until Shakespeare spoke again.

“It’s like the tension’s gone. We have the same passionate exchanges we always did, but we’re like actors playing roles now. There’s something artificial about it.”

Ronald McDonald brought his hands up to his temples and slowly pressed his bright red curls backwards, letting them spring back up again after his hands had passed. He exhaled audibly as he did so.

The bard picked up a pebble and idly tossed it in front of him. “I wonder whether this is what she wants any more. Even worse, I wonder if it’s what I want. Is this what it has to be like? Even if it’s in some way inevitable that the relationship will end up like this, will I ever want that? Is it something I have to come to terms with? Because I don’t think that I want to. I just don’t know what to do.”

Shakespeare twisted his neck to look up at the white-faced, red-haired man standing above him. Ronald McDonald sniffed and Shakespeare noticed how wet the clown’s eyes were. “What is it?” he asked.

“I just don’t think I’d realised,” said Ronald McDonald. “I was aware of it, on some level, but it wasn’t until you described it just then that I truly realised what was happening. It’s all so familiar to me. I’m going through the exact same thing with The Hamburglar.”

The Trevi Fountain coin toss

Posted by Alex On September - 13 - 2011
Turdless Trevi Fountain, Rome

“This’ll be worth 15 minutes, tops,” said William Shakespeare.

“Well I hear it’s one of the most, er, spectacular fountains in the world,” replied Sophie Ellis Bextor, choosing her words carefully.

“No fountain is worth more than 15 minutes,” continued Shakespeare, rounding a corner and seeing a throng of people. “If the fountain is worth looking at for longer than it takes to do a shit, I’ll be impressed.”

“Are you going to try and defecate in the fountain?” exclaimed Ellis-Bextor, grabbing Shakespeare by the shoulder.

Shakespeare shrugged her off. “Of course I’m not going to do a shit in the fountain,” he said. “Are you mental? I literally just went.”

“But you would do it if you hadn’t just gone?”

“No, of course not. I wouldn’t have just gone if I wanted to shit in Trevi Fountain, would I? I can hold it in, you know.”

“I can’t believe I’m even discussing this,” Ellis-Bextor said, more to herself than to Shakespeare.

“I like privacy, you see,” continued the bard. “I don’t want to be squatting down in public. I’d feel rushed. I hate feeling rushed when I’m having a shit.”

Ellis-Bextor swanned off, as only she could. She tried to work her way through the crowd towards the edge of the fountain.

Shakespeare followed her. “I mean I’m not against dropping some shit in the fountain. Maybe I should have planned ahead. I could have dropped a log in a bag or something, but you can’t be certain about the consistency, can you? You don’t want to be standing there squeezing a thick paste out. It wouldn’t be worth the effort. What would I gain from doing that?”

“Give me a coin,” demanded Ellis-Bextor.

“Why?” said Shakespeare, reaching inside his jerkin.

“Actually, give me three,” she said.

Shakespeare handed over three euros and Ellis-Bextor flicked them into the fountain.

“What are you doing, you mad bitch!” screamed Shakespeare.

“It’s a tradition,” answered the alien-faced vocalist.

“You’re literally throwing money away, you fucking nutcase.” Shakespeare’s nostrils flared and he seemed to be on the brink of violence. He brought his right hand alongside the left side of his face and his eyes bulged. For a sickening moment it seemed as if he might backhand his coin-throwing travelling companion, but then the hand dropped again.

“Three coins,” exclaimed Ellis-Bextor in a bizarrely confrontational tone of voice. “Three coins will lead to either a marriage or a divorce, they say.”

“Fuck this and fuck you,” said Shakespeare. The hand that had threatened now shot back inside the jerkin. When it emerged, it was grasping a fourth one euro coin.

Shakespeare gripped the coin firmly between thumb and forefinger and brandished it in Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s face. “Marriage or divorce, eh? It’s ultimatums, is it? Is that what this is? Well what does four coins mean then?” and with that, he threw the coin into the fountain.

Ellis-Bextor looked shocked. “I don’t know what four coins means,” she said, trembling slightly.

“I’ll show you what four coins means,” said Shakespeare, gripping her by the upper arm and steering her away from the fountain. “I’ll show you what four fucking coins means – and unlike that fucking fountain, it’ll be worth at least 15 minutes.”

Ellis-Bextor seemed to go slightly limp as she was shepherded away, so the bard released his grip and threw his arm around her shoulders instead. He held her tightly, but not so tightly that he could have stopped her hand from snaking down the front of his breeches.

Visiting Golitha Falls on the River Fowey in Cornwall

Posted by Alex On September - 6 - 2011

Sophie Ellis-Bextor admired the gushing waters before her. “Oh, that is quite-”

“Breathtaking?” interrupted William Shakespeare.

“Are you having a go at me?” asked Ellis-Bextor. “I know you think I overuse that word.”

“No, no,” said Shakespeare, feigning innocence. “It’s not overused at all.”

“It’s not like you don’t bore me sometimes,” snapped the singing toff. “If I have to hear you bleating about another one of those sonnets.”

“What’s wrong with my sonnets?” asked Shakespeare.

“Just about everything. When I was working with Spiller, we had this joke about iambic pentameter, about the kinds of people who thought that was rhythm.”

“Oh fuck you,” said Shakespeare. “It’s always Spiller this, Spiller that with you. It’s like Groovejet is all you’ve ever done.”

“There’s nothing wrong with Groovejet,” said Ellis-Bextor. “And there’s nothing wrong with Spiller.”

With a swoosh of his ridiculous velvet jerkin, Shakespeare whirled round and strode off along the river bank. Ellis-Bextor opted not to follow him.

After 20 minutes or so, the pasty-faced vocalist had calmed down a touch and decided to go after the bard with the intention of making peace. As she rounded a bend in the river, she was greeted by an astonishing sight.

Shakespeare was standing on two stones in the middle of the river. His lower garments were lying discarded on the riverband and he was squatting so that his testicles were being buffetted by the cool waters cascading over a higher rock behind him.

Ellis-Bextor was aghast. “What… What are you doing?” she said, barely able to form the words.

“Isn’t it obvious?” screamed Shakespeare in a deranged tone, his voice cracking with the effort of suppressing his powerful emotions. “I’m trying to give you what you want. I’m trying to improve myself. I’m trying to win your approval.”

“How?” exclaimed Ellis-Bextor in stunned incomprehension.

Shakespeare stood up and raced over to her, completely naked from the waist down.

“Quickly,” he said. “Give me your hand before they warm up. Feel how taut they are.”

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