First of all the usual prattle of excuses for not posting so often, blah, blah work, blah busy etc. Second of all hellos to all of the people who have found me through my recent mention in Vice magazine, the full story of my conversation with Esther the cultist is here. And a big hello to all the people who have found me through the Surface Unsigned shit pond being stirred up again. I really have nothing else to add to it all, I could care less to be honest and defiantly have no regrets about what happened, but in your honour I give you…

The top three things I said but wish I hadn’t.

(1) This is one of those memories that go way back, that, all at once, feels very far away, and yet still cringingly fresh. I was about seven, and every so often, because I was a cub, I had to go to church. Now I’m not one of those bitter ex-Catholics who had religion forced upon them like a fruity priests willy, the church we went too was a fluffy Church of England parish. Not so much fire and brimstone as tea and biscuits. As a result I’m not fervently anti-Christian, I would say my religious views range from Devout Dawkins to Aggressively Agnostic. But two decades ago I was sitting on the uncomfortable wooden seats, fresh faced and wearing the full cub uniform, eager to please. So when the vicar asked for someone to tell him the number one cause of all wars in history, my hand was up like a shot

“Yes, you” he says pointing at me

“Religion” I clearly say so the back could hear me, like a good boy. The church is as silent as, well, a church, but an emptier one, maybe at night. A couple more beats pass as the adults’ scrutise my answer for troublemaking intent.

“Not quite the answer I was looking for” the vicar says and starts back into his sermon. Apparently the theme of this weeks service was “Greed”, something I should have picked up on at the beginning.

(2) On my toolbox that a carried to and from university everyday was a bunch of stickers. On the one side the biggest read “MASTURBATION IS NOT A CRIME” and on the other was the Sub-Genius motto “FUCK EM IF THEY CAN’T TAKE A JOKE”. One bleary eyed morning I stood at the bus-stop and saw a police officer walking towards me and in no mood to argue the toss about free speech and other hassles I put the least offensive side out, figuring that masturbation wasn’t swearing or, indeed, a crime. But he made eye-contact and came over.

“I like your sticker” he says nodding down

“That’s because all police are wankers” comes unbidden from my mouth, maybe it’s because I was expecting an argument, maybe it was the hassle I’ve had from them in the past, but it was said before I even thought it. Luckily he chose to take it as a joke and smiled about it, but I get the feeling I would have regretted this story more if he had chosen not to.

(3) When I was working in America on a summer camp, the first time, their was a councillor called Barkley, he was kinda short and round but he owned it by having bags of enthusiasm and being great with the kids. By the time I met him he had earned the nick-name Super Barkley and had even gone to the trouble to have “SB” tattooed onto his arm in the shape of the Superman symbol. Because we were not allowed to drink on the camp, we would drive up to the top fields have drink up there, about once a week it would turn into a massive party. Barkley being of a smaller stature and less able to handle his drink would disappear pretty early, but he was a nice guy so nobody gave him shit about it. One night he was on his way back but passed out in the long grass, asleep. That’s when a big four wheel drive drove over him. Everybody lost their shit, we all loved the guy and he’s being rushed to hospital. There’s worry for a day or so, and finally the news comes back that Super Barkley had been super lucky, the car S.U.V must have hit a rise just before him because he escaped with a couple of cracked ribs and a lot of bruising, not only that but he was coming back to camp. Next day were all wishing him well and a big crowd of his friends are checking out his bruises. At this point I see his tattoo and, for no real good reason that I can remember, say

“Does that stand for Speed Bump now then?”

It was too soon. Frosty stares from everyone until he buys me a beer a week later and laughs about it. It became his new nick-name in the end.

Actually, thinking about it, I don’t really regret any of these that much. So what have learnt?