Short 'n Curlies #17 by Si Spurrier



I took a few moments this week to casually spaff-out a screenplay of such glittering perfection that — if I didn't need material for this fucking column — I would chain it in my basement and father its twisted albino children. It stands as my earnest attempt to revive the Greatest Movie Franchise Of All Time, and will earn me six jimbibullion pesos from all the rich and good-looking Hollywood Executives who are reading this right now. FUCK, they're sexy.

The plot is totally simple, and therefore awesome. EAT PITCH, mofos:

When his unscrupulous moneygobbling family desert him alone in the sealed tomb of Michael Jackson, Macaulay "Offputting Blowjob Lips" Culkin hopes the piss-dribbling terror will restore his ailing Acting skills. But when a pair of Hilariously Inept Armed Robbers™ decide they can't tolerate Vulgar Displays Of Wealth and attempt to steal MJ's gold-plated coffin, our alabaster-faced hero must use every trick in the book to protect his mouldering, moonwalking, scar-scalped pal. Can he hold-off the villains long enough for the media to arrive? Are his Comedy Booby-traps still funny in a post-911 world? Will his maggoty-musical-mate still want his hem hem "friendship" now that he's the hairier of the pair? And what is the sinister secret of the Glittering Glove which Wanders For Love…?

Thrills! Spills! Wills! And a poignant Christmas Message which will Touch You In All The Right Places! This shimmering GENIUSBOMB will be titled TOMB ALONE X: RUN AND HIDE, YOU CREEPY LITTLE SCION OF A SEXDOLL AND A WASP-LARVA, and will star Russell Brand as a Talentless Cameo-shilling Twat.

I'm ready for my money now.

News From The SpurSphere:

It's all over, then.

At the end of this week the SheSpur and I will set off once more, leaving behind our sunny little Island of Odd and making the epic trek back across Europe in a glorious return to that fond shore: the Motherland, the Heart of Empire, the primogenitor of all colonies, the frilly knickers of Britannia, the perfumed womancleft above the festering arsecrack of Europe, the—

Well, you know. The scabby, drizzly, cloud-clogged, humourless kernel in the brittle shell of Ingerlaynd:


I miss it. I hate it. I love it. I hate that I love it.

There's a spot precisely halfway across the Millennium Bridge, slap bang between the Tate Modern and St Paul's cathedral, which is just about my favourite view in the world. Looking Westward there's none of the normal toss: you can't see Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the BT Tower… Just a squitty architectural enema of a thousand styles and periods, crammed-in side-by-side with no thought for the mass, which together forms this fuck-awful patchwork of such scale and variety that it becomes… well. Gorgeous.

The French have a phrase: d'un beau affreux. It means, literally, "ugly-beautiful", and despite being coined by a wretched garlic-ponging baguette-schlepping frog-schnarfing goose-botherer, it's perfect for London. That eerie mix of anonymity and familiarity; that endearing sense of humility and misplaced smugness; that indescribable aura of history. Two thousand years of Important Events and, even better, mundane fascinations: pissing out of every rock.

I'm coming over all pretentious, I know. Forgive me: I'm on my third beer, sitting on a balcony overlooking a postcard-perfect view of palm-trees, deserted coastline, distant white farmhouses and the eventual promise of a really fucking strong gin and tonic, and yet here I am yearning for a place which smells — if I'm being charitable — like the accumulated gakk beneath a leper's brittle foreskin. Pretentiousness is a survival mechanism against such rampant idiocy.

(Occassionally you'll go out, right, and buy some cheap bit of second-hand crud: shoes, clothes, whatever. Mostly that's all it ever is and all it ever will be… But once in a while — you've all done it, I know — you'll come across something which carries a weird weight of time and experience; something which oozes the psychic sweat of all its previous owners. It doesn't matter if it's falling apart, if it stinks, if someone's written Fock Of Kunt on the base: it still transcends any notion of being merely "second hand" and becomes instead "previously enjoyed"; "matured with age"; or "complete with provenance."

That's London.)

Menorca has been a very weird experience. Far from imbuing me with the sleepy "mañana" vibe I anticipated, it's been like a speedbomb to my productivity-gland. Over the past six months I've knocked out a screenplay about an undead terrorist in Bohemian Paris; 220 pages of comic script involving everything from masochistic mutants to folkloric grannysex; a half-dozen pitches; eighteen (and counting) rambly columns of angry self-absorbed nonsense; more misanthropic Twitters than I care to contemplate; and 90,000 words of a sleaze-infested crime novel which shows no sign of winding towards an ending. It remains to be seen, in the cold light of the Real World, whether any of this stuff is any bloody good — and in fact, since most of it will be seeing print over the next year or so, I'll let you kids and kidettes be the petard to Hoist Me on that score — but… yeah… from the inside looking out: here is my Conclusion. If you're a writer/artist/anyone-at-all, surfing the bubbly waters of exhaustion and burnout, staring civilisation in the face and wishing you had a flame-thrower, you could do a lot fucking worse than Get Ye To An Island.

The magic runs out, of course. What was once Delicious Peace And Quiet becomes an aching abyss of monotony. What were once Rustic Village Ways become the Vicious Lashings of Ignorant Xenophobic Scumbags. Where once you noticed the pneumatic fleshcandy of the bikini-dodging she-locals at the beach, now you see only the mothers they're destined to become: elephant-skinned, gossip-obsessed, squint-eyed: doomed to never travel further than — if they're lucky — the other end of the Island. Thirty whole miles.

But then, hey: a little imperfection only helps the creative squirtings. I'd be bereft if I didn't have people to hate, nitpick about, cuss-out under my breath. And you're all just the same, aren't you, which is why I love you. Give me a hug.

(Beer number four.)

So was it worth it, coming here? Given that it's been far from perfect; far from some wall-to-wall Lifegasm of endlessly improving paradise… Given that I'm a bundle of stresses and strains (the car… the wretched fucking car… which hasn't seen a mechanic in 6 months and was barely fit for purpose on the way out), and that the SheSpur is gradually going insane with boredom. Given that all our cheery sun-drenched fun is being oh-so-slowly gobbled by the Night Wolf of intolerance… Was it worth it?

Yes. A thousand times, yes. It has been, and was only ever intended to be, a break. A time-out from reality. A pause-for-tea from Existence. And so even in the darkest pits of isolation, even when a storm's knocked out our electricity and the Internet's gone Wrong and there's a donkey in the next field who won't shut the fuck up… still everything's been underlined by the constant knowledge that It's All Temporary. Sooner or later we have to go back. No getting away from it, no putting it off. And in that simple knowledge every irritation or indignity or dose of tedium becomes something different to the Rest-Of-Our-Lives norm, and therefore needs to be… well… if not savoured, then at least philosophically tolerated. Taken in context, sort of thing.

It might be shitty occasionally, but it's unusual shit.

There's another reason that it's just as well we're not staying much longer. I got an email recently from a reader of this very column — one Ian Pons Jewell — who was born on Menorca then whisked away (with no little relief, he says) to be raised in England. He writes that the Island has a remarkably high suicide rate per head, and suggests as a culprit the extraordinary seasonal change. Across the long Summer months the Island blazes with beauty and life. Money flows from the tourist resorts, fiestas roar in a different town every night. The horses of the jaleo rear and dance, the pomada flows like water and the sea is warm and clear. And then the Winter arrives, and the old eastern wind — the tramontana — brings madness and despair. And then, as Ian puts it, people start to reach for the rope…

I always suspected this Island had a dark, sinister underbelly it was doing its best to hide… I'm almost tempted to stay another six months just to see it. But… nah.

I'm coming home, chums.

Find Me @:

Twitter: @SiSpurrier


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About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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