Solid Gold.

Traveling eyes hit the left lane cruiser.

An amplitude of booze injected into archaic cylinders fire up with a chortle and a howl as the luscious hunk of junk steers to avoid oncoming wit.

The ground shivers and quakes as demons awake to find they are dancing the same tune laid bare before them in a plethora of undergarments and hamfisted ideologies. Neither are saved.

The tracks positioned heavily are those of metaphors, but only when we realize we are all whores can we begin to see that the choices of others are made on a singular, certainly divine level.

Unbeknownst to us we will never find freedom.

Best intentions are left wrecked by the side of the road as the rhythmic compulsions of culpability pry deeper into the skin. There are always two sides but the victor rarely bares the mark of Cain.

A semen-encrusted member is worth its weight in gold in the courts of the vicious and decrepit; stood guard over the monuments of misogyny like feeble leering lepers appointed by none other than the Patriarch. Oh how we laughed.

Only when each swinging dick looks in the mirror and sees a missing half will the ruins of an ancient civilization finally crumble into dust.

Fin.

Look see child, from beyond the mountaintop

Cast your eyes into the valley below and tell me what you behold, but do not weep, for these creatures are void of any compassion.
See how they treat each other; with no hint of contrition in their callous eyes they rein hellfire down on those without, languishing the have nots into sullen piles of rotten meat ready for compression.

Oh how the devil dined and fed his fallen angels well throughout this great pestilence.

God had died long ago but the death of light does not deny the existence of darkness, it merely strengthens its resources.

But Father, I don’t see empty eyes everywhere? How can this be?

There was a time when all was not lost, but every event meets its horizon, and long ago, this civilization hit the high water mark and cascaded across the abyss into new unfathomable territory.

How did it happen though?

Close your eyes and look back my child and see the horror that man befell on himself.

The tears ran down the boys face as he watched the history unfold. There were wars and dictators; starvation and dehydration. Slaves unpackaged and sold as happiness. These were things that were part of growth and understanding, but they never ceased. Lessons were never learned. He cried out in agony as time and time again he watched unarmed civilians beaten to death by their so called ‘Police’. A resonating chord struck him in the heart and the anger rose through his body.

I shall end this all. I cannot let this carry on a moment longer. Do I have your permission father?

There are times when anger is to be quashed in lieu of benevolence but they have walked too far from the source. Their frequency is diminishing and they create nothing but pain and sorrow. You must understand your actions and stand by them wholeheartedly, and if you do, I give my permission. Take this lesson and hold it in your heart till your dying day. Promise never to succumb to the evils of man.

I wish they were not lost, but I know it must be done.

And without so much as a blink, humanity ceased to exist in any other form for the rest of time. The universe was peaceful once more. The screams of terror were absent.

The Heist of the Century

The scene is a cliché.

Somewhere a top a dark and stormy mountaintop in Aspen sits a grand old five star hotel. Hundreds of rooms are laid with exquisite décor to relax the high flyers and tycoons that need it most. Gold-flocked wallpaper stares out onto four poster beds of rich mahogany and the mini bar is stocked with the finest tipples from across the globe. The lines of pure Columbian cocaine are pre racked by Puerto Rican maids who are disposed of weekly and the young boys are fresh from the Congo – It’s a vulture’s paradise.

Deep in its belly lies a smoke filled room lit by nothing more than a solitary desk lamp and cigarillo cherries flaring up at alternating intervals. The rain hammers against the pane and the lightning lights up the sky for miles around. The shadows of men hunch round the table and they have a plan. It will be executed without fail because they have the blood lust required and a thousand screaming banshees to do their bidding.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened. I was too young to be paying attention, I had the rare benefit of a childhood, but I knew it was there.

They had tried before, but it hadn’t worked quite the way they had planned. It had been going on since the sixties and there was hope, but it wouldn’t be until the mid eighties that things started to kick off. I don’t think they ever expected this to be their success story, but by the mid two thousands, more than a third of the worlds population were connected via a host of giant servers dotted across the globe.

Never in the history of man had people been so well linked to one another. The ability to share information, news, music and anything you could think of was unprecedented, even in its earliest incarnations. It took a while, but their patience paid off. The crack epidemics of the eighties were nothing compared to this and it outpaced Television by miles. In less than ten years, they had almost half of the entire population of the world addicted to something much more dangerous than drugs. The Internet.

Millions would go from leading a fairly regular existence of human interaction to detachable cyborgs junkies seemingly over night. All of a sudden all public places were filled with not only a younger tech savvy generation of bent necks, but anyone who was anyone. If you do not have a device glued to your hand for at least seventy percent of the day, you have missed out on:

Three separate kidnappings/war/a NSFW video of a small brown person in a faraway land beheading some other smaller brown person/cats with fluffy heads/war/epidemics/ goofball politicians saying the funniest things/hashtags/your ‘friends’ new baby/Bob Geldof/war and reams upon reams of subtle pornography.

You are a freak of nature, a lost ship in the night. You will be forgotten and shunned like a leper and banished to the ends of the earth unless you relent and succumb to this most unfortunate of evolutionary steps.

With the power of our supposed autonomy, we gave ourselves up to the slaughter like prized bulls high on mescaline, unaware of our ill-fated future, stumbling blindly towards the shiny glowing objects. They didn’t even need to force it upon us. They gave us the choice and we fell on our knees like greedy conquistadors, sinking slowly to the bottom of the river lonely and connected. It was us buying into the idea that made it work. We are forever magpies.

It would be unfair to say that this technological abomination is purely negative; it has the power to topple the kingdom from the inside, but it still works on the same principle of the lower classes working together. Unfortunately, through the comforting hum of a hard drive and the luminous glow of a screen, most people are so idly content in their own little worlds, they quite noticeably lose their minds when deprived of these innocuous devices. The people that are switched on are still the same as they were and will always be, but the thing is, even those people are becoming trapped inside this horrible machine whether they like it or not. It sucks you in on so many levels; you will never find a safe place to hide unless you go complete Luddite.

It is not just social media that snares you. It is the idea that everything you do is now conducted through a device; entertainment, shopping, working, socializing. All of these things, though they do not require it, add a greater convenience to your day thus becoming the norm. And slowly, over time it will be so integrated into society, that this idea of being free from it will be a footnote on our history and written about as the evil that ate the world in leftist folklore. Either that or it will come to a grizzly end, plunging the entire planet into chaos as the computer controlled systems that keep us ‘alive’ crash. People will realize everything they know is based on nothing tangible and hundreds of thousands will die because the god they depended on was unrealistic to our animal based principles.

They stole our minds and they did it so well we didn’t realize; a hundred million souls reeling in torment at the idea of become singular beings rather than an ephemeral idea of unity and love. The cries were faint and some heard, calling back in sadness and anger, but the rest had their ears plugged with little white noggins of plastic and wire. Music blared, the latest putrid chart hits dribbled like puss down into the ears, clogging them and solidifying any last ditch attempt at hope…. but then again, we have seen this all before and will see it all again. The pigs will always win and they shall be rewarded, but the cattle remain lame and punch drunk, lobotomized within an inch of their lives, burnt carcasses of human existence. Those of us with the benefit of a half functioning brain might join them out of desperation, or be doomed to spend the rest of our days living on the fringes of society, squabbling and claiming moral superiority. We are all slaves to an existence thrust upon us without choice and then we die. What we do with out time merely boosts or shatters our ego and hopefully doesn’t offend too many people, but then again, where is the fun in that?

‘Turn on tune in drop out’, a rallying cry of the freak movement has turned into the death knoll of our imaginations, but where there is fear, there will always be a fight.

These bastards will continue on their little rampage throughout history, but there will always be those of us setting fires, no matter how small; in reality it always plays out the same, just make sure you don’t drop guard.

Emerald Jeans

Her deep blue eyes shone up from the sea of faces below me and I was captivated.

My flailing limbs and childish postures suddenly seemed trivial, but the rhythm kept pounding, the notes forever ringing.

We locked our gaze on more than one occasion, exchanging smiles like smitten school children; or maybe she was laughing at my array of grimaces and gurns? I will probably never know.

The show ended but they called for more. Those crystal eyes shone ever brighter but they never left the room. The crowd cheered but I had selfishly lost interest in everything peripheral. She smiled back and looked at her shoes.

The gin and grapefruit had taken control of my motor functions as I flew to the exit in need of nicotine and the cold winter air.

I saw a pair of emerald green jeans and she was there in a frozen glory.

People talked and I listened with one eye on her, our gaze locked again and the smile melted my soul. I had all the time in the world, but in a split second she was saying goodbyes and walking across the road.

The politeness in me carried on the conversation that I should have dropped while the world had other plans.

The Hills have Iphones

The plan was simple. In and out, no questions asked; no loitering in the condiment section, and under no circumstances were we to visit the wall of discount gins, whiskies and wines.

Rules are man made and we had tried many times in the past to obey the policies we laid before ourselves, but nearly always we come out clutching whiskey or wine – The lure of the discounts on gorgeous bottles of scotch is just too much for us of weak temperament.

In our previous excursions, we have gone in for bin bags, beans and bog roll and come out with a peaty scotch and an armful of red wine. This time would be different.

One of our adventures almost ended in calamity as we boldly decided to brave a supermarket giant on a Saturday morning, carefully laden with the remnants of the night before and a crazed desire for the fixings of the most lavish fry up known to man; the details of which are an entirely different story altogether.

Marcus Aurelius, seventh earl of Devonshire managed to guide his particular vehicle from point A to B without either killing us, or any pedestrians; though there was a near miss with an elderly lady taking her rat for a walk which shouldn’t have been avoided.

This particular behemoth of supermarkets was located far from the main land, out at sea in a hazardous excuse for an industrial estate. It was the attraction for many of the local swine; eager to fill their cloof paws with tins of corned beef and value microwave burgers that it sold in its luminous belly.

The doors parted like the red sea, but instead of salvation, all we saw was hell.

It was a struggle to wade through the swathes of hideous bastards out for their weekly dose of fun, but we managed to procure all of our breakfast delights.

The lights were bright and the floor reflected our repugnant forms as we hobbled, goblin like towards the checkout with our goods.

It was in the frozen isle that it all went to shit. The icy chill and the tungsten sent us into a frenzy as the whiskey and Guiness from the night before raced through our nervous system. I remember falling under the weight of the tins of beans and bags of hash browns, having to support myself on the edge of the frozen pizza cabinet, using it to guide me to the end of the line just to make it out in one piece.

The next thing I remember is coming to at the checkout; Mark was on the adjacent conveyor having a similarly horrific experience. I looked down and the checkout girl was staring at me like I was a rabid dog on fire. I had no idea how long I had been there, but was I was midway through packing so I was compos mentis enough to not be a raving lunatic. She took an age, though I’m sure she was scared witless by this partially suited hairy freak staring at her with a rambling jaw and wide shark like eyes.

We paid, left and ate like kings, but I have missed my original intention and told a completely different story. Back to the present day…

It was a Monday night; we were frozen to our chairs and hungry. The warmest place to be was the car, so we donned our warmest head wear and headed for the Zang Wagon.

The plan was for stacks of tinned goods and the biggest bags of pulses we could find, nothing else…except for a toilet brush.

We were cold, sober and on a mission. The legions of leeches would have receded by this time on a Monday evening so our chances of survival were looking good. The gorillas in the car park had their stereos blaring summer holiday by Cliff Richard, ironically it was heading into the middle of winter, but they ignored us and we headed inside, armed with a trolley and a plan.

The first hurdle is to always avoid the deals, but upon entering, we were greeted with six bottles of your finest yellow tail Shiraz for twenty-five of your English pounds. It took the will of Sampson to drag us away, but we were going to stick to the mission god damnit!

We located the tinned goods and loaded up with tomatoes and beans. The sharks began to circle, looking bemused and wide eyed at these two freaks of nature, fresh from the big city stocking up as if the internet as we know it was about to go down. We carried on our way.

By the time we were finished, we had amassed exactly thus:

10kg white rice

3kg Fusili pasta

3kg brown lentils

3 litres of vegetable oil

a selection of spices, seeds and sauces

20 tins of tomatoes

20 tins of baked beans

12 tins of chickpeas

3 tins of tuna

….and a toilet brush

We chose the checkout counter carefully as we did not want to arouse the suspicions of the overseers, so we headed to the guy with the beat beard and the scrawny arms. He surely won’t judge our bizarre shopping habits?

As we place our items on the belt, the two magpies in front peer out from horn-rimmed glasses and suck in a little breath, aghast at what we had laid after them. They can’t help but steal a few more horrified looks before paying for their box jumbo of chocolates and scarpering off to hunt for tacky gold treasures somewhere in the distance.

A short Indian man a few tills down has approximately 31 boxes of Quality streets piled taller than him, but no one gave him a second glance; our lentils were more of a head turner

After a few inquisitive questions, the checkout guy, we shall call him Bruce, opened up to us and began spouting out secret information given to him by the secret service of Barbados, if there is such a thing; the conversation quickly changed to hot sauce. We said our goodbyes, after paying of course and headed swiftly for the car.

Our Monday night stockpile was a success, but it is only a matter of time before a disaster shall occur again in the realms of big business shopping. For now though, we shan’t have to buy rice or lentils for a good few months.

Title stolen from Mark S. Devonshire

Hang ’em High

And lo, I drop to my knees and pray to the old gods and the new.

Take heed to the cries of the innocent and the righteous for they have seen hell.

Raise up your tridents and your lighting bolts and strike down each and every man, woman and monster that has oppressed another on this here planet for they deserve no love.

String them up by their necks till the life drains from their abused vessel.

Hang the racists.

Sodomize the homophobes.

Throw the politicians into the streets and watch them freeze to death with no morsel to line their bloated stomachs for they are pitiful creatures.

Burn the zealots who turn their deities into tools of propaganda and war.

Beat those who beat their wives for they will never understand compassion.

…But when all is said and done and we stand holding hands in a sea of blood, we will turn to each other and be struck down from on high, for we have stooped beyond the level of beasts and become what we most despised.

The understanding of another’s suffering will never be reached until the moment we stop to help and ask why.

For though terrible, unthinkable deeds have occurred, they don’t materialize from thin air.

We are all fallible, and we all have the ability to change.

The only thing stronger than fear is hope…

Except for politicians, hang ‘em high!

The Adventures of Buggy McBugson

Buggy McBugson was a bit of a prick. None of the other arthropods liked him because he was always causing trouble in the parking lot and getting them in the shit with Mister 4.

Mister 4 owned the carpark and let all the little beetles practice their tricks when nobody was looking, but he had a nasty secret.

The lair was located at the back of the toilet by the park. It contained carcasses of beetles and wasps and stick insects, but no one ever found out because Mister 4 was a clever man.

One day Buggy Mc Bugson went to spray rude words on the toilet. The door was ajar and he snuck his head round the corner.

Inside, Mister 4 was bent over with his trousers round his ankles. Underneath him was a bowl of beetles, all alive but unable to escape for he had greased the bowl.

Buggy McBugson could only watch in horror as Mister 4 sprayed his shit all over his friends, drowning them in fecal matter.

His scream echoed around the toilet and Mister 4 caught sight of him. In less than a second he had strolled over and splatted Buggy McBugson with his bare foot, smiling as the delicate shell cracked between his toes.

No more ice cream for Mister Bugson mother, it looks like he has gone on holiday.

The Architect

One day we will all die, whether we choose to accept it or not.

We hope one and all that we will die in peace and with dignity, remembered by the world and our loved ones as good people who lived respectable and just lives to the highest degree.

We wish that ourselves, our sons, our daughters and our mothers, fathers and friends will not endure pain nor suffering.

Those with a strong moral disposition will not ever wish pain nor suffering on others, no matter what belief system they hold, nor their personal temperaments.

It is our duty as human beings to make sure that these ideals are upheld across all four corners of the globe and beyond, should we ever be graced to make that leap.

We have a responsibility to protect all those within our powers without judgment or persecution, giving the same level of care that we would hope to receive ourselves.

Our religions and our governments have failed us, yet the zoetrope of history keeps on spinning as the faces of power change, a metamorphosis of pomp and ceremony to distract from the horror beneath.

One day we will all die, and we can say that it was all in vain, or…

We live in a world that we chose to shape, for although it seems futile, we are in control; we have the numbers. We must not give up and lay down to the convenience laid in front of us. We have a duty to educate and inform our children, our peers, our families and our leaders.

We may not see the change we want in the world, but we have the ability to shape the future by our actions in the present, no matter how small they may seem.

One day we will all die, either in pain or in peace, but we will know in our heart of hearts, that every day was spent as an architect, building our civilization up to the heavens as the archetype for peace and compassion throughout the universe.

Round two: A misadventure of mind in Paris

Maybe it was stupid to think that this time would be less eventful. We had blown our load all over Paris a few months previous with all kinds of ruckus, it made logical sense that it was a freak one off. How wrong we were.

It did not help matters that rather than catch an early nights sleep, myself, Gareth the roadie extraordinaire and Charlie Buttons, driving madman decided to drink gin until the early hours of the morning – Leon was at work until a similar ungodly hour. An entirely different story altogether; involving Canadians, high waisted trousers and a man howling like a cat in a wringer.

Going to bed less than two hours before you have to get up is only asking for trouble, but unlike the last adventure, we managed to leave on time with all of the gear safely stowed in the car, a false sense of security in place.

Three stinking hangovers and four sleepy heads later, the motorways were quiet and the tunes were distinctly nineties, which may or may not have helped, it was still too early to tell. The gin had not worn off and a distinct lack of breakfast was starting to take its toll on our weary bodies, all nutrients left in a dark dusty corner of a Nordic pub, organs crying out for attention.

As the morning wore on, so did the traffic, becoming slower with each passing moment. The clock ticked closer to our departure, yet there were many more miles to go, but stupidly, we were still in jubilant spirits, unaware of the horrors that lay in store.

I will spare you the boredom of describing the tedium that is Calais to Paris. It is only comparable to driving through the likes of Essex or Norwich, minus the bizarre signs with daunting animals staring out at you; flat and eye gougingly dull.

The fatigue kicked in crossing the Somme, so what do you do when you get tired? Put on a little bit of J.T to rock you back into existence.

There is something about touring that brings out the worst in peoples tastes, be it cranking out Cry me a river or being stuck in euro tunnel traffic screaming ‘Ugly’ by Bubba Sparxxx, it’s a side that stays relatively hidden from normal day to day life. Yet even though this was not a tour by any means, the cheese came flying out the stereo in all glorious forms. My mother would not be proud.

As usual, as soon as we hit the suburbs we were in the shit – if Vietnam was a road system rather than a failed war, it wouldn’t be far off Parisian roundabouts. We had barely breached the Northern perimeter of Paris before Charlie got the hang of Parisian driving, cutting into motorway traffic with less than 2ft to spare at 80kph, harassing everyone with jabs of the horn and screaming obscenities left right and center. When in Rome as they say.

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After stopping off to eat an ice cream and watch a game of football on a pretty well equipped housing estate ground, we got a call from our host and changed direction, heading for Aubvilliers and strong coffee.

If you imagine a stereotypical French slum with boarded up shops, old men sat on street corners smoking and playing backgammon whilst hefty women shout at each other from the balconies opposite, then add the contemporary twist of five Parisian rudeboys all handcuffed against a wall whilst armed police search their car, that was where we were staying, or so that sat nav told us. Never trust them they are built by imbeciles. Arsene guided us to the right place, ten minutes up the road and we pulled up in an equally dilapidated area, and no, it was probably best not to leave the stuff in the car.

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Strong French coffee poured from a saucepan, the sun shining overhead and a new wave of energy; we left in search of food, drink and snails, with plenty of time to get the gear to the venue and set up. The next series of events would go against that plan, partially due to distraction, partly due to street battles with the far right.
I had decided to be clever and book the car park in advance, just as Mark did last time, but there is something in my genetic make up that prevents me, no matter how hard I try, from being organized enough to pull it off. I had somehow booked a car park on the same small one-way street, though without thinking, drove to the wrong one, entered, and thought nothing of it for a few hours. This we will come back to.

First order of the afternoon was to get a beer and soak back into the bath of alcoholism that seems to consume all of us whether we want it to or not. There is something nice about drinking good beer in the afternoon, knowing you can dawdle as you have hours to kill and no agenda other than an evening full of more drinking and sweaty rock’n’roll. It brings forth that utopian idea of no work and all play, which I imagine would get pretty damn boring exceedingly quickly and society would falter, but every so often, it’s a nice little dream to have when the world around is grey and full of idiots and death.

The others wandered off for some food whilst I stayed to finish my beer, grabbing the chance for twenty minutes peace and quiet and a spot of reading in the unexpected sunshine. Time rolled on and there were places to be; I strolled back through a few side streets and pulled back up onto the rue des Pyrenees, assuming that the dirty contingent were at least half way through eating. How wrong I was. After casually bumbling through the menu, Charlie ordering the Snails as per his wish for the day, we purchased a few more beers and the talk swung onto football and F1, to which I zoned out, staring out the open window, only to see a number of huge Police vans pull up and then empty their heavily armed load onto the street in droves.

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Usually I would have a glance at such police presence then leave them to it, especially when they have guns, pepper spray and angle grinders, but it was either get involved with whatever they were about to destroy, or sit and listen to paint dry; football chat at it’s dullest.

Leaving my phone, jacket and all other evidence that I am in fact a real person, I crossed the street and began snapping away, much to the annoyance of more than a few of the coppers. As they descended the stairs in a fashion that would have made the roman legion proud, the throng of kids in motorbike helmets, old men and inquisitive shoppers followed them down; I might as well join them. More and more people began to gather, taking photos and filming on their phones; the police line halting again for a debrief before marching off up the street two a breast and forty or so deep. All other thoughts went out the window; the compulsion to follow them and document whatever was about to go down next was too strong. Following them closely for a good half a mile, and down countless streets, I suddenly realized I was in an unknown neighborhood that didn’t look like it would welcome anyone with a large DSLR slung over their shoulder. A man outside a café told me that it wasn’t safe to be here with it, or at least that was the gist of what he said. Regardless, I’d come this far and was determined to see what was happening. Another crowd had gathered up ahead and the police began to form into ranks. Shouts grew louder and angrier as I rounded the corner and the air grew tense; the crowd behind the newly formed line of cops started shouting and surged forward. I couldn’t make out what anyone was shouting, and the sun was going down much quicker than I had expected, and without a flash, my camera was becoming useless so I headed back in the direction I came, dodging a few junkies and gangs of rude boys.

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They were drinking coffee and for all I can remember, were still talking football when I returned, a quick hustle later and we were heading for the car -which we had neglected to check the reservation for; it turns out we were either not booked into that car park or I’m just a complete buffoon when it comes to negotiating the world of preparation.

After a few minutes of arguing in French with the guy on the intercom who clearly had no desire to give my slow bumbling diction the time of day, I had to jog back through the maze of dingy parking spaces to the booth, argue some more, then give in and pay for the damn space. The one for which I had already paid a few nights previously on thee olde intronet.

Late to unload our gear for Thee Maximators set in classic ‘whateverbanditdoesntmatteritsalwaysthefuckingsame’ fashion, we set about getting in the mood for the evening ahead with a few shots, and in typical Parisian style, the whole place was empty up until show time. Damn their punctuality! As Thee Maximators powered through their set, the room filled up and by the time we hit the floor, the room was heaving. Although less debauched, we powered through the set to a gyrating room, letting the sweat take a hold; shirts were off, tables were mounted and drinks were poured.

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It was from this point onwards that everything went wrong. We had decided to leave our gear in the venue and go out to the party a couple of lines on the metro away. Alice the promoter whipped out a bottle of Jack and we were away. The getting there is rather blurry, but we bunked the metro into the ‘rich’ district and headed for a house that was to be ‘trashed’.

There is nothing quite like busting into a party in a foreign country, there is also nothing like getting told to leave. Gareth kicked the bathroom door in or out, Charlie fell asleep in the hall and Leon was on some sort of rampage. About four in the morning we decided to leave and get some kip on the other side of Paris. South to North whilst wasted is not as easy as it should be… ‘Look for the cabs with the green light’ was all we were told as the medieval wooden doors slammed on us. Needless to say, we wandered for a good while before we gave up, crossed the river and practically walked into this guy’s car. He was more than happy to drive us all the way across town, but that feeling of doubt was there every step of the way. We got to the Aubvilliers district and he took a number of wrong turns, ending up on a secluded dead end. There were only 200e in my wallet, so what was there to loose, but the paranoia of the booze was just that. After correcting his navigation, we got to our destination and tumbled through the door, filling up every soft area in sight.

The late afternoon sun poured through the windows as Leon bumped around the garage/house, I think with the intent of waking us up but without the audio ability from his lungs, who knows. Either way, we woke up late, and had more or less, missed our trainboat back to England – The hangover putting off any actual reality of the situation; first call, food!

After walking through a few run down industrial estates, a couple of guys burning plastic (I can only assume to reclaim the precious metals inside) and the worlds first half star hotel, we made it to the Metro; one step and many stations closer to home.

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The first worry was, how do we get the car out. Gareth had his Jacket containing the parking ticket and his phone stolen the previous night, somewhere in between his Rambo style door destruction minus the rocket launcher and arguing with a very opinionated French girl about said incident.

“Why would you do zis? It is not your howz”

“Why not?” Was the laureate’s reply; I think this is why we were asked to leave.

The second worry was the fact that all of our stuff was locked in the venue, which didn’t open till Tuesday; today was Sunday.

As we walked up the hill from the Metro, we saw nothing but warning tape everywhere and the road we needed to use, blocked to all traffic. Had the riot spilled into the main thru fare causing all manner of disturbance? Preventing hundreds from accessing baguettes and cheese on such a holy day? No. It was merely a downhill long boarding course, in the middle of the street! How dare they, and for such a rubbish form of four wheeled extremism. Dull even on the best of days, a sport for pussies in leathers and with crash helmets. I don’t care how much skin you’ve taken off on a 50mph hairpin curve, try carving a backyard pool with no pads or t-shirt whilst swigging a tin. No room for full leathers here.

Mais de toute facon, I digress, we got distracted by the event, stopping every so often on our walk up the hill, hoping to see someone fly face first down the tarmac, but alas, we were denied this most basic right. It was only when the roller bladers started coming down did we up and move on. No time for Fruit Booters, no matter how steep the hill.

My memory does not serve me well, but I think there is a gap somewhere. I suppose all stories cannot be historically correct when written in the past tense.                  Back on the rue de Pyrenees, the street markets had all finished, but the amount of rubbish still remaining was uncomprehensionable; there were entire crates of courgettes and peppers being chucked into rubbish lorries, perfectly good peaches left by the side of the road, and mountain upon mountain of cardboard boxes.

Tensions were beginning to mount at the state of the ridiculous situation we had gotten ourselves in for and it was not looking to end well. After waiting for Gareth and Charlie to casually dawdle up the to the car park with no sense of urgency in their boots, from out of nowhere, the walking shit storm of carrot pulled the much needed parking ticket from somewhere within his region, a small grace in an ever stressful day. The car was fine though stupidly locked from all sides, with Charlie having to squeeze into the boot through a gap of about a foot, and after paying almost double the online fee I had already stumped up, we had the car back, minus the gear; another small victory, now to the venue, hoping that it would be open.

At this point in the day, the train ticket back to blighty would set us back £175, almost our entire fee from the night before. My brain felt like it had an army of pissed up tory supporters shouting idiotic abuse at one another in it; breaking point was not far from the horizon.

As we expected, the venue was shut and there was no one in sight. After asking all the closing shops on the street if they had the number of anyone who worked there, we were close to admitting defeat and heading back to Arsenes and crashing another night, it would at least drop the ticket price by £100. An hour and a half of waiting and frantically ringing people in England to send me numbers from my ‘physical’ phone book so we could get the fuck out of dodge finally prevailed and Ben came flying round the corner on his vespa, appologising as all six foot whatever of him vaulted off and opened the door. Leon and Gareth had wandered off, and were still nowhere to be seen as we sat in the loaded car, ready to gun it at top speed towards Calais.

Even with a deadline to catch the last train back to England, the rate of movement was so slow that the Tories in my head began blasting Cliff Richard at full volume, so much so that I wanted to ram my fist into my mouth and drag them out and drown them in a pool of Gareths freshly harvested vomit that was lying drably on the floor.

We drove and we drove in Silence, then for some stupid reason, the severity of the situation cascade us into fits of laughter at the most minute of incidents occurring outside the vehicle, a sense of peace had been restored.

I shall skip the leaving Paris part, it was the same as entering, except with more abuse and spitting. We were glad to be leaving.

It was somewhere around Souchez that the engine began making horrible noises. We were home free and yet the fates were against us the whole way. We pulled over in a lay by that was better equipped than most homes in England and checked the engine. The oil was dry as a bone and we had none in the car. Our only option was to hope there was a services that sold oil within the next few miles before the whole thing ground itself into a pile of metal on the toll road.

Services were acquired in the nick of time, as was much needed food. After another session of foot dragging, we were gunning the last few miles with the tunes up high and the lights on full. We still hadn’t bought a ticket due to the fact that we’d had such a shit run of things, we were owed a good hand this round. We decided to blag it with our boarding card from the journey over, and to everyone’s elation, it worked, only costing us an extra 23e on top.

It was the home straight! And I think in the line of traffic waiting at passport control, ours was the only car bouncing up and down to the weight of four grown men getting rowdy to Busta Rhymes at full volume. Also: Porsche Wankers.

We boarded the train, said our farewells and fuck you’s to France and landed safely in Great stinking Britain, relieved and tired.

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I suppose there are lessons to take from this, but at the end of the day, no matter how prepared you are it can all quickly turn to shit with the addition of whiskey and wine. To overcome such situations, you need to succumb to them and let the currents take control of your course, you will always undoubtedly end up home, minus possessions and cash on the odd occasion, but these are inanimate objects and what we take away in terms of adventure and memory is far greater than the possessions you own.

A bientot dame France, jusqu’a la prochaine fois

x

Crest

All I wanted to do was show a side of the world I’d reserved for myself; the pointless quirks and quips that entertained my baron mind.

Alas it was not meant to be. The wine flowed down my gullet and across the carpet. DJ Premier played the classics whilst all manner of profanity’s and mind altering metaphors cut scores through the barricades into the warmth of the cut, deep inside the sheets.

The world howled around outside in a drunken daze; dates lost, fights won, a lonely human slumped paralyzed in the doorway, a victim of lackluster influence, oblivious to all contemporary consequences and so on…

To some it’s all a game with no end in sight, to others, it means the world; all that is to be said requires nothing more than some loose inebriation and an imagination that swings to the second star on the right and straight on till morning.