Suggested Audio Jukebox:
 Katrina & The Waves “Walking On Sunshine”
 Nirvana “Big Cheese”
 Mantronix “Simple Simon (You Gotta Regard)”
 Jason Segal & Walter “Man Or Muppet”
I’ve always been rather big on giving credit where it is due. In the world we live in, it is all too easy to state our discord and bitch about what really gets our goat but far more seldom for us to focus on the good things. If I had a dollar for all the times I have eaten at a restaurant, been massively impressed by the service of my waiter/waitress, and paid this forward to the management before my departure, I’d have enough to provide them the tip they truly deserve. You see, while we are quick to jump on the substandard, we’re not so hot with regards to dishing out kudos and that seems ass about-face to me. I guess it all depends on your outlook but, considering mine is primarily positive, I love nothing more than the administration of due credit. That is what this exercise is all about, focusing on the good and to hell with the other. Thus, any cynics amongst us may wish to stop reading now. Fret not, as I’ll attempt not to make this overly sentimental.
Anyhoots, to those still in attendance, allow me to further elucidate my cunning plan. Previously I scribed an article called The Anger Games which highlighted a handful of my personal bugbears and this is kind of the antithesis to that piece. Today it’s all about singing some praises, mulling over a smattering of things that turn my frown upside down. The following can brighten up the bleakest of days and have been my savior on occasions too numerous to mention. They are all individual to me so I can’t guarantee you’ll be sharing in my enthusiasm but I do plan to back up each with a dash of reasoning. So without further ado, I present you with just a few of my favorite things and, in case you’re curious, masturbation will not be making an appearance as some joys just stand to reason. Introduce me to a person who doesn’t enjoy knocking one out on the sly and I’ll gladly reveal my third testicle. For the record, I only possess two so I’m banking on you lot not to call me out on this one. We’re friends right? If that is so then I’m fully justified in calling you a bunch of crazy nutbags. Fret not as I happen to be one myself.
Where to begin? I guess cheese would be as good a place as any. I’m not talking moldy blue sludge with more ventricles than dairy content, my affection is for the cheddar variety, matured until such time as it is almost ready to go back in the cow. I simply cannot get enough of the stuff and recently deducted that it has been over three years since I last allowed a 24-hour period to pass without consumption. Most foods I tire of over time, no matter how appealing they may be at the offset. Not this particular dairy delight however, I would inject it intravenously if wasn’t for the circulation risk that would entail and, should cattle become extinct, then I too would be an endangered species the very moment the cheddar dried up. Being a horror aficionado, it isn’t just about the taste either. There has been conclusive scientific research to validate the link between cheese consumption and dreams, particularly when timed just before slumber. Needless to say, dairy before bedtime was an absolute must growing up.
Dreams will never get old and, where some dread nightmares, I’m more than willing to entertain those impish night terrors whenever my closet door opens. Granted, they can be a little close to home on occasion, but I always wake up before the end credits run so no harm, no foul in my opinion. While I can’t state categorically that cheese has had any bearing whatsoever on my dream frequency, I also can’t claim that masturbation has made my left bicep any more defined and that doesn’t stop me adhering to my rigorous daily exercise regime. It has also been suggested that too much cheese is bad news for your arteries but my heart is still ticking so I have no reason to hold it in contempt just yet. Put simply, a life without extra-mature cheddar isn’t one I would even consider contemplating and, should I wake up one morning with udders, then that would just be a bonus. If anything asked, I’d just say I had a hernia and hope that the fact I have a mouthful of grass doesn’t blow my cover.
While we’re on food, steak is another winner that I would merrily base my entire diet plan around. Once again, it has been reported to come at a cost as I’m sure we’ve all heard the one about the amount of undigested red meat in our colons when we die. Of course, this is absolute boulderdash and, even if there were a vague hint of validity to that claim, it wouldn’t stop me from packing it in at every available opportunity. Quality control is key here as we all know that burgers contain precious little in the way of bona fide meat content, whereas a decent London Broil will practically moo its authenticity. Personally, I’ll take it as it comes and leave the rest up to colonic irrigation. I find it interesting that cows are responsible for providing both of my favorite foods and, if you have ever had the pleasure of dropping a house brick into a freshly laid cowpat from a fair height, then I implore you to do so as therein lies the trinity. Just remember the splash zone.
Music has always been a source of pleasure to me and, while film has it licked hands down, I’m all ears when a piece of audio tickles my fancy. My eclectic taste ranges wide and far, with only reggae and jazz culpable of draining my lifeforce. Everything else is fair game and there appears to be a type of music to suit every conceivable mood which keeps it from ever growing stale. That said, I have my darlings, and timing never need come into the equation. Once I was old enough for personal preference to come into play, eighties rap introduced itself to my eardrums and I went scouring the streets for Mercedes emblems to add to my jewellery collection. It didn’t stop there either as Flavor Flav came up with the ingenious idea of attaching a timepiece to his fat gold chain, thus ensuring he never had to dash for the bus. I was all about the breakbeats and positively lived for those big bass drums and hi-hats. Despite my ambrosial skin tone, I felt accepted by rap music and this compulsion continued well into the nineties.
Regrettably, it was destined to change eventually and 1992 seems to be the year that our association began to falter as gangster rap emerged on the scene and some silly rabbit had the bright idea of throwing R&B into the mix. Devastated, I needed me a new fix and fast and it just so happened to coincide with a new craze about to sweep the nation. Hardcore rave was more prolific on these shores than Stateside and the scene swallowed me whole for the two years it took for the lows to outweight the highs. Every weekend without fail, I would don my bandana and whistle, drop a disco biscuit or two, and rely on strobe technology to make me feel like I was the modern-day equivalent of Fred Astaire. at one point, I even took to spinning vinyl and, while many of us are tone-deaf and unable to master the fusion of beats, I span vinyl with the best of them. It was a short-lived romance as, just like my beloved rap, things soon took a most disheartening turn and drum ‘n’ bass replaced the pleasure with paranoia but, twenty years later, I’m still a slave to its rhythm.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out where I stand with regards to horror movies and our relationship spans five decades and in no danger of turning sour. Even when the nineties threatened to derail the entire genre, I knew it would come good in the end and that is precisely what has happened as it is currently in rather good health. However, there is one sub-genre in particular that warrants special mention, regardless of its short life span. The slasher was, and still is, the jam in my doughnut and I am never more content than when watching a group of clueless co-eds coming a cropper at the hands of a hulking juggernaut. Tom Savini taught me all about the all-important gag and his work-rate during my favorite era was truly second to none. I think it was the simplicity of the breed that resonated strongest as a decent slasher did precisely what the tin stated and never had ideas above its station. Shamelessly endorsing both gushing grue and T&A, it ran concurrent with my adolescence and is the reason why I always keep a pair of rose-tinted spectacles on my personage at all times.
My choice of clothing has seen precious little alteration since childhood and I’m never more in my element than when busting out the sneakers. Growing old gracefully doesn’t appeal to me as knitted cardigans will never have a place in my wardrobe. Indeed, should I ever make it to my twilight years, then I’ll be the coolest cat in the care home and, should you lift my tartan blanket, then you will be greeted by a pair of Adidas and an Air Max colostomy bag. They say who can tell a lot about a person form their footwear and mine plan to do all the speaking on my behalf when senile dementia relieves me of my last remaining faculties. I’m a dash concerned that years of excessive cheese and red meat intake will result in cloven hooves but as long as I can shoehorn my trotters into a pair of sneakers, then I’ll gladly take the rough with the smooth. You can take your brogues and stick them where the grass doesn’t grow and don’t even get me started on male flip-flops as my good mood will soon be compromised.
Anyone who knows me will be aware of how vital a component laughter is to my everyday pursuits. Should I not giggle at least once in any given day, then said day will be considered a complete wash-out. For as much time as I invented into having the wits scared right out of me growing up, my funny bone was every bit as demanding. Again, the eighties were ripe in this regard as the likes of Steve Martin, Bill Murray, John Candy and Tom Hanks to name just a few ensured that I never fell into the trap of taking life too seriously. Another myth is that regular laughter is related to holding onto our youthful looks and this one I gleefully endorse as those afflicted with perpetual glumness seem so haggard in comparison to the chirpy souls who see the funny side of life. Of course, it’s not always easy to maintain a chipper front but comedy is only ever a single dubiously placed banana skin away and, should any slips, trips or falls play out, then I’m the one in the nearby shrubbery, attempting not to give away my position and failing miserably.
It’s all about those endorphins you see. Laugh a little and the clouds soon start to separate, thanks to their mass release. I have been doubled-up in agony through unforeseen hilarity on many an occasion and live in hope of the next time those happy tears roll. Given that I shed an average of one of these decidedly stubborn tear drops per calendar year, any ad hoc streaming is greatly appreciated. That said, there has to be a time and place as there are few things as infuriating as somebody who flat refuses to ever take things seriously. Thus I strike a balance but keep my clown shoes on hand at all times, in case of emergencies. Even on my eventual death-bed, I plan to be on the lookout for reasons to be cheerful and have every intention of dying with a smile on my face and gutful of jollies amidst all that undigested red meat.
I am rather partial to daytime quiz shows and there is a distinct method to this particular madness. You see, television is fairly insipid at the best of times but even more so during daylight hours when most of the population are engaging in their 9-5 activities. Chat shows are traditionally rancid, home improvement programmes relentless in the extreme, and soap operas my absolute Kryptonite. Yet, quiz shows are alright by me and here is my reasoning for providing them immunity. I barely even notice what the goggle box has to offer even in my most sedate moments, but you never know when a dash of general knowledge may come in handy. I can provide quiz shows with as little as 5% of my overall attention span and still come away with the odd nugget of wisdom. There is no requisite with following a plot, just listening out for that buzzer and jumping in and out when you see fit. It’s win-win in my opinion and asks such a menial amount of my concentration that it would seem rude not to partake.
I’m also rather fond of bathtime. I get that showers are more time and water efficient, and there is much to be said for a quick hose down in the morning to freshen up. However, where’s the relaxation? Where’s the quiet reflection? Most critically, where’s the rubber ducky? I’m with Ernie from Sesame Street on this one and he stated his case so eloquently that I couldn’t possibly not buy into his philosophy. While Bert was growing increasingly frustrated attempting to dislodge the crud from his shower head, Ernie was merrily splashing about in the bubbles washing away every last one of his troubles. Don’t even get me started on the joys of aquatic flatulence as that one will never get old. I have a tendency to seldom pause for breath and this is where bathtime comes in handy. I refuse to vacate my porcelain carriage until my fingertips resemble Yoda’s balls and, while the first few moments of the inevitable towel dry are admittedly bogus, it just seems such a scant price to pay for a good long soak.
I simply adore The Muppets and challenge anyone to dare disagree on their validity. My son is six-years-old and regrettably doesn’t share my enthusiasm for Jim Henson’s finest creations but that isn’t through any lack of effort on my part. I grew up with their antics and wouldn’t be the man I was now without Beaker’s expressionless meeps and the Swedish chef’s debatable culinary skills. Meanwhile, Miss Piggy managed to make swines strangely arousing and it catered for all ages and tastes unequivocally. They’re still knocking about now and occasionally get their act together for a rousing reunion but, while they still uphold that Muppet charm, it will never be the same as when they justified their prime-time position with their very own weekly show. I imagine my childhood bereft of The Muppets and it’s too bleak a concept to entertain. Sooner or later, I’ll wear my boy down and he’ll thank me when he’s older I’m sure.
Unselfish acts will always warm my cockles as personal gain isn’t the be-all and end-all. There is a knack to paying it forward and not asking anything in return, even acknowledgement, and it sticks it to the cynics who believe human kindness no longer exists. A while back I compiled my very own bucket list and one of my goals was to witness somebody I love achieve their dreams and become rich beyond their wildest imaginings. This is not necessarily monetary, just a luxuriance of personal gratification. There is no clause involved, just a wish to be there in the stands as they take their lap of honor. Should I be responsible in some part for their prosperity then I’ll gladly slip away unnoticed as they deservedly soak up their triumph. This provides a true feeling of accomplishment and well-being so it does have its benefits in the long run. Indeed, I may be held in contempt for my misdeeds when I arrive at final judgement but, should I arrive there with head held high, then my time could never be considered wasteful.
While I may not have lowered the tone until now, I simply cannot conclude without dropping it just a couple of notches. Anything less wouldn’t be Keeper and I’m even prepared to do so surprisingly tastefully by my own gutter-based standards. The female form is something that has never ceased to mystify me for the very best reasons, particularly when clothing is ruled out of the equation. It needn’t be crude or even titillating, just a celebration of unrefined beauty ticks my boxes. Natural is best here as silicone ony serves to distract from the truest gifts the naked body can boast. Scars, imperfection, lopsided areola – none of these are deal breakers and, if anything, they provide sincere sweeteners. There is something to be said for not hiding behind flattering garments and just allowing it all to hang free. You want to see an honest performance, watch an actress deliver her dialogue in the nude and you got it. I have nothing but praise for anyone courageous enough to commit to their art in this way.
There we have it, just a few of the good things that spring instantly to mind. Should I ever be required to formulate a desert island list, then the above would all make the cut well before a volleyball with a face painted on it. That gives me an idea you know. The Muppets took Manhattan, Jason too took Manhattan (albeit less successfully), and both parties explored outer space too. Surely it is high time that they tail Voorhees back to Camp Crystal Lake and engage in a spot of stalk and slash. The possibilities are endless, imagine Miss Piggy taking that midnight skinny dip only to notice the Swedish chef lurking in the undergrowth, meat cleaver at the ready. “Ch, ch, ch, ah, ah, ah” could be replaced with “bork, bork, bork” and Crazy Rowlf has a rather nice ring to it. Think I’ll guzzle some cheddar and sleep on that one.