Things which are much cooler than you: part 17.



Paddington is much, much cooler than you will ever be.

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Things my imaginary band has been called in the last few months

The glee-weasel

Seagull-proof sack

Richard Dawkins’ Rubbish Face

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Things which are cooler than you (part 15): Lemurs


Lemurs are cooler than you.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about seagull proof sacks but were afraid to ask



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A belated thought about Cheryl Cole’s bum tattoo

When I got my tattoo (the white horse of Uffington on my left forearm, much admired by Pam Ayres in an incident I couldn’t quite believe was happening) I was strictly informed that the affected area must remain dry for at least ten days, and I mustn’t under any circumstances dunk it in the bath or let the shower get on it.

Now, let us consider where and how extensively Cheryl Cole chose to be decorated.

We can only conclude that she is a DIRTY, DIRTY GIRL.

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In which I become trapped inside a giant puffin.

I worked as a volunteer at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 1997. It was fun. We got to ferry writers to and from the station (Anthony Minghella and Auberon Waugh: lovely, Martin Amis: right mardy get), steward all the events, and play with Salman Rushdie’s sniffer dogs.


In return we all got put up in a youth hostel-type place, and the organisers bought in a week’s worth of free food and beer. Most of which, obviously, all being 21, we drank in one go.


The next morning I was so foully hungover I could barely stand upright. As they were handing out the tasks to people I sort of managed to fade into the background in the hope I wouldn’t get given a job and could spend the morning sleeping it off somewhere. And I managed it – right up to the point where the organiser lady spotted me and said “Adam, if you’re spare, you can be the puffin today.”


So I was sent off to the dressing room on the far side of the building to put on the human-size puffin outfit and wander around the children’s bit of the festival to encourage them to buy more Puffin books.


Good points about the puffin outfit: it had orange welly-boots that were actually shaped like puffin feet and which I wanted to steal and wear with inappropriate outfits ever after.


Bad points about the puffin outfit: unlike Kipper the Dog, who was reserved for a lady from the publishing company, it did not have a fan inside the head to keep you cool. And every time I tried to put the head on and smelt the waves of other-people’s-stale-breath-and-sweat-residue coming off the inside of it, I felt like I was going to spew.


Eventually I gave up and thought ‘I’ll just have a little sit-down for a bit’. But the puffin’s body was esentially a stiff plastic barrel covered in material, with unflappable wings moulded on to its sides, so when I sat rather heavily in a chair with arms on it the whole thing rose up over my head and encased me completely. And got jammed. So I was stuck inside a giant stinky puffin torso, feeling iller than I have ever felt, worrying that I was going to have to scream for help until the people queueing up for PD James directly outside the door came to rescue me.


Luckily I eventually managed to tip the chair over and free myself from its grip. I spent a few minutes rolling helplessly on the floor before I was able to push myself upright against the wall. And then a few more minutes trying to pull myself together. And then I put the head on, opened the door and walked outside.


And twatted a little old lady really hard with my beak. At which point I actually started crying. But luckily no one could tell because I had a giant puffin head on.

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It must be very odd being a fashion photographer on glossy magazines…

… because there really are only a limited number of ways of saying “basically the look we’re going for is ‘just about to have a wank'”.

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Unexpected Historical Hotties, no.3


Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, later known as Stalin. He can collectivize my Kulaks any time!


(Actually he can’t. Stalin is definitely on my Wouldn’t list.)

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Three (3) things you never knew about The Queen


Very few people are permitted to use The Queen’s first name, but she does allow her children and close relatives to call her The.


One of The Queen’s favourite practical jokes is to get into guests’ pockets, stand sideways and pretend to be a coin.


The Queen’s nemesis wears a black crown made of antimatter, and is called The Queeb.

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Things my imaginary band has been called in recent months

Oh! Those blundering schedulers

Raph Fiennes’ Magnificent Trousers

Hooty Nuisance


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