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On Leaving A Job

In a glass case of emotion…

A few months ago I had an epiphany. It wasn’t a particularly spectacular one like the ones you get when you’re pissed and you have a sudden realisation that it’s absolutely acceptable to text the person you once had a thing with ten years ago to ask them what type of pants they’re wearing. It was more a comforting revelation that despite everything that’s currently going on with my personal life, my professional life seemed to be ticking along so inoffensively well that it struck me I was perfectly happy in my current employment. This was revelatory indeed.

Granted, it’s not the most taxing of jobs – I work for the local council as assistant to the assistant in charge of licking envelopes – nor is it a position that’s going to make me a millionaire (only drug-dealing, benefit fraud or faking my own death and selling my identity multiple times over can do that), but the working environment I currently find myself in is one that is actually conducive to good working relationships, work ethic, common sense, and high productivity.

This is because the department and group of people I work with are, for the most part, fully compos mentis therefore they understand that good working relationships, a half-decent work ethic, and common sense generally equate to high productivity. So things tend to work well. Which is why I’m in a glass case of emotion knowing that in precisely one week’s time I’ll be abandoning this steadiest of steady ships in order to pursue my lifelong dream of working in another department for the same company. You read that right – I’m simply transferring to another part of the council because, unfortunately, my current position is temporary, and the new role is permanent and has offered me free shoulder massages and bacon sandwiches whenever I want them. (Disclaimer: they haven’t).

But in all sincerity, there’s every chance that I’m genuinely heartbroken about having to leave a team I consider to be the loveliest I’ve ever worked with. And as someone who also considers himself a vicious cynic towards literally every conceivable thing in the history of planet Earth – my offspring, Peter Rabbit, and Brad Pitt’s topless physique aside – this is quite the statement to be making. I hate to be going all pie-eyed and mushy here – which is ironic as I love pie and mushy peas – but leaving my current job will be quite the upsetting moment given the flexibility, help and support they’ve all given me throughout the most difficult period of my entire existence. I won’t elaborate on that because this isn’t Oprah and I’m not Lance Armstrong but suffice to say that over the past eight months my team-mates have endured and put up with my incessant daily belly-aching, listless pontificating, and an almost constant facial expression that resembled a combination of a heavily smacked arse and a chewed orange. Cash prizes and/or Nobel Prizes should be awarded to each and every member of my team simply for their ability to go about their daily work and interact with a vacant, blithering idiot who must have been utterly excruciating to be around. It’s no wonder they always talked about wanting to organise a night out on the piss after having a conversation with me.

You’re fired! Donald Trump on The Apprentice before he became President of the United States of America.

I must confess, however, to having quite the topsy-turvy ‘career’ over the years, mainly because of my indifference to working hard, generalised hatred of anyone in authority, and my indifference to working hard. I spent many years being ritualistically shit on by the powers that be beginning with the first full-time job I took after leaving school which paid me £1.61 an hour, and involved being called a ‘c***’ on a daily basis by a Tory-voting racist named Edward ‘I Brush My Teeth With Dogshit’ Trollope. He was quite the c***.

My next position was with the mindless oblivion that is the Inland Revenue. How I’d managed to find myself in a position comparable to that of a lab rat was through a restrospectively stupid piece of nepotism: my mother got me the job. She’d worked there since the late-Cretaceous period (sorry, Mam), and had advised me that positions were being created in the Lobotomy Department for Lazy Bastards and that I should apply. I duly did, and after mountains of applicatory paperwork involving pre-school maths quizzes, three-letter word spelling tests, and how to say ‘hello’ when answering the phone, I was offered the position of Dogsbody which involved placing one piece of paper from Pile A on to a brightly coloured piece of paper on Pile B and repeating for eight hours a day. Supervising this monotony was a conveyor belt of pocket Hitlers who’d combine verbal abuse, timing my visits to the toilet, and eventual physical assault by way of launching a stapler off the side of my head.

After escaping this bowel of infected hell in a co-ordinated Inland Revolution with other members of my team, I took a role at Newcastle College which was quite wonderful initially – I spent the days playing football in the sports hall, stealing Lucozade from the vending machines and sleeping in the back office along with my two work colleagues, one of whom is still my bestest bud, and the other of whom my bestest bud and I wish bad things upon daily. Of course, after a period of coasting along with not a care in the world, a new boss came along – with no hair and a massive Humpty Dumpty head ego at that – and began spoiling our daily laziness by way of telling on us to upper management. This culminated in me being exiled to a small office secreted away in the basements of the college where I was left with a computer with no internet access and the door locked, trapping me in a kind of Guantanamo College but without the garish orange jumpsuit. Jail time is usually given for managerial behaviour like that these days.


Best boss in the world. No, really.


Anyway, a sprightly collage of various job roles followed this incarceration including zero-hour contract jobs (of which the total hours worked amounted to precisely that), positions where I worked roughly fifteen minutes before breezing out of the front door never to be seen again, and Jobseeker’s Allowance roles whereby I literally only had to sign my name on a piece of paper twice a month in order to be paid. One vacancy I accepted included being threatened by the odious little manager with a lawsuit for rolling into work one morning precisely one minute after my contracted time. A lawsuit. His words. Heady days.

So you can imagine my surprise and hesitant glee when I took the job at the council and discovered that the people I was working with were actually, well, fucking normal. That is to say, not sadistic. Or pathological. Or psychotic. And I’m absolutely certain not one of them have ever timed my trips to the lavatory. And this, of course, is incredibly ironic given how much I’ve taken the piss over the last eight months. In what’s been an incredibly turbulent year, every last one of the team have approached me with good humour, sympathy and empathy, allowed me to get on with being a miserable sod who no-one in their right mind would want to spend any more than a couple of minutes with, and STILL invited me out for a pint, or wanted to have a bit crack with me about this, that or the other. I have a feeling that literally every company, team or boss I’ve previously worked for when confronted with my situation would have had me either sacked, ostracised or murdered.

Given that my entire work history has usually culminated in me walking out with two fingers raised in the general direction of my ex-boss’s fat fucking heads, this week is going to be an entirely new experience altogether in which I’ll probably bawl my eyes out after saying so long and farewell to the loveliest group of buggers I’ve ever worked with during the most upsetting of personal circumstances. So many, many pats on the back and tips of the hat go to the Direct Payments team of Durham County Council. Good folk with good souls.


Where certain people know your name…


Anyway, I hate to end this gushing wank-fest but I promise I’ll go back to being a stony-faced, miserable bastard in next week’s post when I’ll most likely be talking about the return of the Premier League football season and all the unadulterated shit-misery that Premier League football entails.

The Importance of Being Boring

Yes, I am boring you.

This post is going to be as boring as fuck. In fact the entire aim of this particular post is specifically to bore the arse off you with as much tedious, drawn-out, and convoluted bullshit as possible so it brings you to the point of having to push your tongue back into your mouth with your fingers. I know what you’re thinking: why does it need to be this specific post that does that when there are plenty of other articles on this blog that do much the same thing? The answer to that question is a simple fuck you. But there is a fairly valid reason for me wanting to pursue the path of the boring fuck and embrace total monotony.

Allow me to explain: the nearest and dearest in my life will have no doubt come to realise with a jarring sense of concern hilarity that my current existence is anything but plain sailing. In fact it’s about as far from plain sailing as the Titanic was when it was still being built and clearly not seaworthy. I alluded to this existential chaos in my previous post with the help of an artificial intelligence unit from the legal team at Cyberdyne Systems who moderated the content, but suffice to say my general day-to-day life does not bring about the sense of calm that one would expect from someone who likes nothing better than lying around in his underwear and scratching himself.



It must be said, however, that I’m not inferring my current life is a hip and happening, vibrant splash of colour, pizazz, and interesting anecdotes that would generally characterise someone who’s actually living a life of colour, pizazz and interesting anecdotes. I get the feeling from the people who know me that it’s more a sense of ‘oh, what the fuck’s happened now?’, or ‘beer. Just give him beer’. There’s a sense that whenever my parents see my number flash up like a digital heart attack on their phones they both actually begin the onset of a myocardial infarction in fear of what’s potentially coming at the other end. It’s almost guaranteed that when I text my mates for a pint they know they’re going to have to endure a bug-eyed rant not seen since Kevin Keegan’s ‘I would love it if we beat them‘ tirade. Suffice to say – and it behoves me to not go into specifics here – that being me, and anyone around me, is quite the exhausting state of affairs at the minute. But I shall leave it at that lest I accidentally go into specifics here.

And this brings me to the main point of this article: precisely because there’s never a dull moment in my life (in the most depressingly uninspiring of ways) it’s compelled me to want to live the majority of the other side of it as an utterly boring sod. There are few things I want more than someone to come up to me and say that I live a life that’s comparable to that of a garden slug just prior to some sadistic little bastard unloading a waterfall of salt on to it and watching the bugger squirm. It’s come to the point that it’s a physical and emotional necessity to be utterly dull and uninteresting with all aspects of my being in order to balance the bedlam of everything else. And in the midst of all this chaos, the perceived banal things in my life are the very aspects that do in fact make my current existence more agreeable. Allow me to demonstrate my banality by listing the ways with which I balance the pandemonium with the ponderous:


1. Cooking A Whole Meal Of Food/Pottering In The Kitchen

Not a drop of salmonella in sight

For ages I steadfastly refused to advocate this based on the fact it takes roughly two hours to prepare and cook a meal, and approximately four minutes for me to devour the bastard. Plus the kitchen always looks like what my living room looks like after my baby son spends roughly thirty seconds in it. So I thought this was grossly unfair. However, it’s become apparent that despite all the washing up, the swearing, and the blood, there’s a sense of smug satisfaction that comes with cooking a plate of food that’s edible enough for you to upload a photo of it to Instagram for a bunch of dullards to look at. My time in the kitchen keeps my focus enough to not dwell on the disharmony, and to reassure my Mam that I’m not subsisting on Budweiser.


2. Putting On A New Pair Of Socks

I Googled ‘sexy socks’ for this image.

If there’s anything better than this I want to know what it is. Fuck off to your old socks with the holes, and the smell, and the Hepatitis C molecules in them. Grab a new pair – Gucci, Adidas, George at Asda, ones your Grandma knitted – and put the buggers on. It’s like an orgasm in your feet. Soft, nourishing, comforting. I defy you not to wank once you have a fresh, brand spanking new pair of socks on.


3. Climbing Into A Freshly Made Bed


Better than putting on a fresh new pair of socks is climbing into a freshly made bed. The important thing to remember here is making sure you get the right fabric softener so that your entire existence smells like your freshly made bed. The silky soft touch of the cooling sheets, the uplifting aromas of comfort and calm, the soothing warmth of reassurance as you drift into a snooze enveloped in the crisp lushness of the bed. It’s positively heroin-like. Not that I’ve ever tried heroin but it’s probably a knocking bet that snuggling into a freshly made bed smelling of meadows and heroin is probably what injecting heroin feels like. Just don’t have a wank and spoil all the freshly made innocence. #freshlymade.


4. Completing Some Form Of Physical Exercise

Exercise is good for you…

There’s no doubt about it that taking part in some form of cardiovascular activity engenders a fulfilling sense of accomplishment, well-being and egotistical superiority. Just look at those morons on Facebook who post the details every time they go for a run. Everybody definitely, without a doubt, completely cares that they ran around a little Google Map for 15 minutes. It’s the epitome of the boring fuck. Still, it’s a truth self-evident that the whole concept of physical fitness encourages a more positive outlook, and I wholeheartedly agree as I’ve recently returned to the gym and got my running shoes on again. That satisfaction of completing a session; the relaxing ache of my tired muscles; the sense of achievement, and the relaxing post-workout shower and chill out when all’s done. It’s quite wonderful – simply because doing it allows you to go all in on the three bottles of wine in the fridge. A simple half hour jog or trip to the gym removes the guilt for you to become an alcoholic. Don’t deny it. You all do this. You frigging do, you lying bunch of sods.


5. Writing Boring Shit For The Internet


‘Boring’ and ‘shit’ being the operative words. But, you know, it helps.


I’ve no doubt it’s a terrible tragedy for someone of my age to be happy to settle for the life of the dreary. I am only 21 years and 192 months old after all. But, to be perfectly honest, it’s for the best given my current circumstances. And it didn’t do old Obi Wan Kenobi any harm. He lived a boring life of solitude on Tatooine after Revenge of the Sith, and he got to come back as a ghost in later life and help defeat the Empire. So there’s hope. A new hope.

Anyway, this blog post has waffled on much more than I ever thought possible but as long as you’re bored out of your skulls then my work here is done.

Update On An Update: A Brief Update

Because otherwise people wouldn’t know this is an update.

Unimportant Reader’s Note: due to legal reasons, this post is being moderated by The Moderator from Skynet in order to avoid additional reasons.

So this morning I woke up with a crick in my neck. This was my own fault in part because I use pillows positioned at an angle so I can lie down at night watching a Netflix on my phone while simultaneously drinking from a bottle of lager using a straw without spilling it on the Wham! ‘Choose Life’ t-shirt that I wear for bed. This is normally a fairly successful and fulfilling routine but this morning I woke up to discover I was paralysed in a small, 5cm area of the left hand side of my neck. This tiny area of trapped nerve produced enough excruciating pain down the left hand side of my body that it rendered me unable to initiate my morning routine of immediately jumping out of bed to spend the next 90 minutes on the toilet while simultaneously texting my friends that I’m about to spend 90 minutes on the toilet. I won’t elaborate on what happened next but suffice to say that particular hour and a half trapped in bed was emphatically unpleasant for a multitude of reasons.

Anyway, it turns out that it’s been exactly six months since I lasted posted on my blog. While this has caused mass hysteria and upset with all both of my readers (hello Mam, hello Dad) by way of them once asking if I still ‘write that shite’ for the internet, not to mention a creative atrophy not seen since the release of Oasis’ Be Here Now, there is a genuine, real-life, non-bullshit explanation for me not bothering my arse with it all. In a nutshell it’s because of my current *this comment has been removed by The Moderator owing to reasons* and the subsequent fall out from this as well as the absolutely fucking ridiculous *this comment has been removed by The Moderator owing to reasons*. Put it this way, the opening paragraph of this blog post is an accurate metaphor of the year 2017 in the world of me.

But seeing as this is an update it behoves me to apprise you all with what’s happening in the world of dysfunctional email correspondence, my current problems with *this comment has been removed by The Moderator owing to reasons*, and my existence in general. It will reassure you all to know that I still can’t drive, my son recently turned one year old (I don’t embellish when I say I have roughly 2,000 photos of him on my phone) *The Moderator will accept this comment relating to the author’s offspring*, and I’ve forgotten how to write material for a blog that once had seven readers a week in its glory days. Which explains the rusty nature of this particular post.


Gregg’s cakes include ‘Jammy Heart Biscuit’, ‘Pink Jammie’ doughnut, and ‘Yum Yum’. Whatever the fuck that is.

However, I promise that things will soon be looking more positive going forward. This is because my blog hits have absolutely spiked over the last six months.

While one could look at this and suggest a correlation between high viewing figures during this period and me not writing a sodding thing, it turns out that there’s a popular pop song in the popular hip-hop genre of popular music that explains this sudden fascination with my blog. A tune named ‘Cake‘ – presumably written by ninety-nine percent of the population of the American state of Florida – was released at some point at the tail end of last year, or early this year, or at some point of this year, or at some point ever. The point is that the song is – much like this blog – specifically about all the different types of cakes you can buy at Greggs The Bakers in Newcastle upon Tyne but done in a way that it’s relentlessly played at gymnasiums up and down the country. This has agreeable symmetry because people who gorge on cake tend to be a bit roly-poly so listening to a song about cake in the gym would ease the pain of having to do exercise. One of the pre-eminent lyrics in this particular masterpiece is ‘I only came for the cake‘, and a simple Google search of this term immediately directs you not to a hilarious blog about the hit and miss wit and wisdom of a middle-aged man, but straight to a video of this Shakespearean tune of lyrical genius that clearly has nothing to do with casual sex and everything to do with Greggs’ desserts. However, my website is visible enough in this Google search that the youth of America apparently stumble across it, read it, and presumably leave aghast enough to better their lives so as not to turn into the author. So I’m probably doing my bit. In a way. I’d reply to all their bewildered queries but to be honest I’ve forgotten how to read.

*Hi, The Moderator here! Just saying hi because I don’t want to come across as a bit of a bastard because I’m doing my job moderating some pretty sensitive shit. I love Chris really. He is tall, friendly and handsome. Bye!*

But I digress. In the midst of all the stressful *this comment has been removed by The Moderator owing to reasons* that has completely upended this past year, I’ve managed to steady the shit ship lately. I’ve started going to the gym again, I’ve stopped shitting with the door open as it was previously upsetting any visitors to my home, and I have big plans afoot regarding a book I’m having published. So if it interests any of you I’m about to force a book of poems on the general public that details *this comment has been removed by The Moderator owing to reasons* and the effect it’s had on *this comment has been removed by The Moderator*. You can download a copy of this wonderful book of shite from this link here: *this link is not available yet because it’s not available yet and because The Moderator says so*. So I’m hanging tough.

In the meantime I’m writing again, finally, after all the shit of *this comment has been removed by The Moderator owing to reasons* so my generic email correspondence bullshit will once again rear its head and clog up your Facebook timelines.

*Bye, everybody!*

Oh, bugger off.

Correspondence #10: Hitachi Personal Finance

Mrs Tomlinson

Mrs Tomlinson starring Justin Hoffman and Jan Bancroft.


Ages and ages and ages ago I apparently took out a loan to pay for some sort of expensive item that, to this day, still has me completely baffled as to what it was. You can’t buy drugs with a loan, nor can you order the assassination of someone, therefore my guess is as good as yours as to what it could have been as there’s nothing much else that really piques my interest.

Today I was contacted by the company who loaned me the money and they asked why I hadn’t paid anything towards it for a couple of hundred months. Usually my stock response would be ‘because I don’t want to’ and then leave it to the bailiffs but fortunately the lady who I was corresponding with politely addressed herself as Mrs Tomlinson which I thought was reassuringly novel to be so archaically formal in such a brutally modern world.

So we exchanged emails and she resolved the matter at hand. Unfortunately she bluntly refused to refer to me as my preferred moniker (as you’ll see below) on future correspondence so despite the positive outcome of the exchange it did leave something of a bitter taste in my mouth. 


Message from HCCF EA Queries
10:49 AM

to me

Mr Peet

Please call Hitachi on 0344 375 5488 quoting ref 026%£&^91

Thank you

Hitachi Capital UK Ltd
2 Apex View
LS11 9BH

Registered in Cardiff no. 1630491
Registered Office: Hitachi Capital House, Thorpe Road, Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey, TW18 3HP

Chris James Peet

11:07 AM

Dear Hititchy,

Many thanks for your friendly email.

Unfortunately I do not have an active telephone communication device due to the impending rise of the machines and subsequent enslavement by our AI superiors. I’ve seen Terminator 3 twice and I appreciated its message so this is just me being extra careful and staying off the grid like Jim Connor, future leader of the French resistance.

Please advise what it was you would like me to talk to you about. I enjoy sleeping, dancing around the living room to pop music and chatting on my telephone so my tastes are broad and varied.

Kind regards,


HCCF EA Queries

12:14 PM
to me

Mr Chris Peet,

Thank you for your email.

Please be advised your account is currently overdue for £214.16.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Mrs Tomlinson
Senior Collections Agent

Chris James Peet

1:57 PM
Dear Mrs Tomlinson,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

Unfortunately, due to a breach in the Skynet mainframe towards the back end of last year, my bank account details were put in jeopardy and my entire life savings of -£33.50 were left exposed to potential hackers. I was then advised by the Resistance hierarchy to cancel and remove all standing orders and direct debits until such time it was safe to presume I had money in the account and they could be reactivated.

I explained all this to one of your T-600 model customer service advisers but due to their below par programming, poor Neuronet processor and penchant for playing Angry Birds instead of listening to what I was saying, the particular model I was corresponding with informed me to just restart the direct debit at my earliest convenience then hung up. Unfortunately I thought I was on hold and stayed holding the handpiece to my ear for the next three hours.

When I finally realised no-one was there and my ear had stopped tingling, I discovered much to my dismay upon doing my banking that this defective model had taken my bank account details, set up the direct debit himself and withdrew a payment from my account, knocking the account overdrawn and incurring charges to it totaling £60. Due to this malfunctioning system, I spent the following few days incurring additional telephone charges and tingling ears attempting to get the bank charges refunded to me. Sadly, my mission failed and I was left in severe debt due to the poor customer service skills, breach of data protection and borderline fraud that I experienced at the hands of your faulty T-600 CSA.

With this in mind, and by way of recompense, please accept my acceptance of your future offer to void the £214 still left to pay on the account. I used Skynet’s Time Displacement Equipment to check you were going to do this.

I trust this settles the matter.


HCCF EA Queries

4:25 PM (1 hour ago)
to me

Mr Chris Peet,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I have looked into the matter and can confirm on 14 October 2016 you did provide us with a new address however, unfortunately, the agent you spoke with did not update this on your file. Please note, I have now amended our records to show your address as 1 F******** ****, D*****, D** ***.’ Please can you clarify this is correct.

Taking the above into consideration, I have removed all charges totalling £125. Please accept my sincere apology for any inconvenience this has caused and by way of compensating you,  I have issued your account with a credit for £50. With this in mind, the left outstanding is £39.16.

In relation to your comments regarding the customer service,  please advise by return if you would like me to open a complaint on your behalf.

Regards,Mrs Tomlinson
Senior Collections Agent

Chris James Peet

5:12 PM

Dear Mrs Tomlinson,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I appreciate you looking into this matter, especially under such circumstances of having to deal with a faulty T-600 unit who not only failed to update my account with the relevant information, but presumably also gave you the false information regarding my address as the house number is completely incorrect. I suspect he is a double agent like Agent Sanderson out of that Keanu Reeves movie, The Scalextrix.

Though you have the street name and town correct, my house number is actually 75. Or should I say WAS 75. I don’t live at that residence any more as it’s been taken over by dark forces the likes of which you couldn’t even imagine. But I won’t bore you with my own personal drama as I’m pretty sure you’re not going to like it. As it is, my address is now ** R*** ****, D*****, *** ***. Please forward all correspondence to this address marked for the attention of Batman.

Please allow me 21 days to clear the outstanding debt of £39.16 as I that’s when I’m due a lottery win or my wage manages to make it into my account, whichever comes first. Probably the former.

Kind regards,



HCCF EA Queries

5:25 PM
to me

Mr Chris Peet,

Thank you for your response and your understanding in this matter.

I can confirm I have updated your address and have sent confirmation of this in writing. Please be advised, all correspondence will be address to ‘Mr Chris Peet’, and not ‘Batman’.

As requested, I will put your account on hold until 31 January 2017 to allow you sufficient time for you to pay the outstanding balance of £39.16. Please note, you can make payments online by visiting us at or by calling us on 0344 375 5488 and making payment over the phone using a credit / debit card.  I trust this is satisfactory however please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.


Mrs Tomlinson
Senior Collections Agent

Chris Peet


Here’s to you, Mrs Tomlinson…

To infinity and beyond!

To infinity and beyond!

The Truth About Parenting

Fatherhood: easy.

Fatherhood: easy.

I’ve been the parent of small offspring – a boy named Finn – for nearly 3 months now, and here’s a little titbit of advice and information for all human beings who have ruined their lives, or will end up ruining their lives – accidentally or otherwise – in the near future: parenting is fucking easy. At this stage at least. There isn’t a sodding thing about looking after a new-born baby in the first few months that should cause a functioning, fully-evolved homosapien to whinge to their mates that being a parent is hard work. It fucking isn’t. It’s piss easy.

Allow me to explain: there’s a myriad of issues to contend with where a newborn is concerned, all involving your offspring screaming at you. Where Laura sometimes finds Finn’s high pitched yodelling utterly oppressive, I find myself feeling quietly proud that our boy can sing a bit. The problem, of course, is figuring out why he’s crying, and how to remedy it. That’s the upsetting part: knowing he’s not happy about something. But, fuck, it isn’t difficult. Apart from a problem that may require medical attention, there’s basically a standard list of reasons why your offspring is whinging. Is he windy? Burp him. Does he need his nappy changed? Clean that shit up. Is he hungry? Get your tits out. Once you’ve figured out what it is, more often than not the little sod will shut his gob. Unless he has reflux or can’t have a shit for some reason. Both of these things our son has. At the minute he chokes himself out when he’s trying to back one out. It’s a harrowing scene. I know how I get when I can’t shit so Christ knows how this little blighter is feeling given that he doesn’t have a sodding clue what’s going on. I just let him squeeze my finger and pull that face the Incredible Hulk pulls when he turns into the Incredible Hulk.

Of course, this parenting lark can be frustrating and utterly bewildering. But so is going for a shit and realising there’s no bog roll left. Ultimately you just get on with it and fashion some shit wipes out of a flannel, the cardboard inner from the toilet roll, or your hand. You muddle through and deal with it. You can call parenting a great many things: loud, tiring, smelly, annoying, completely shit. But it isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is waking up in the morning and realising you’ve woken up. What’s difficult is learning to drive when you’re thick as pig shit. What’s difficult is going into work every day doing your utmost to not end up as one of those, ‘and then he turned the gun on himself’ kind of people. What’s not difficult is feeding, changing and entertaining your new born son or daughter. Granted, it kind of exhausts you which makes you moan a bit. But so does skulling nine pints while watching your beloved football team ship four goals every week. It tires you the fuck out but you do it anyway because you have to.


Father 2

I used to love getting pissed with my dad when I was 10

Which brings me on to the first of the two truths to this article –

Truth #1: parenting is easy. That’s been established. What isn’t easy – what’s excruciatingly difficult – is other. fucking. people. Don’t get me wrong, people mean well: they want to help, they want to visit, they want to buy your offspring clothes, they want to hold him for half an hour so you can go for a shit. Which is all great. The difficulty is trying to appease everyone’s sense of entitlement. While it’s wonderful having visitors in the hugely exhausting aftermath of the birth of your child, sometimes people forget that all you want after a night swimming in human faeces with a soundtrack that resembles a human torture chamber is not have another human being knock at your door with a pitying smile on their face and gifts that aren’t for you. Sure, you can ask them to come another time owing to the fact you can’t be fucking bothered with the small talk after a night on the shit but be prepared for a fully grown adult to spit their dummy when it should really be your kid doing all the dummy hoying.

It’s very apparent to me that the main problem is the actions or reactions of other people when you have offspring, not the baby itself. As I’ve mentioned, a baby does stuff it’s meant to do and you deal with it. Easy. What’s difficult and wildly disconcerting is adult human beings doing stuff that would be extremely uncomfortable or offensive if it was in a normal social context. I’ve had random strangers approach me on the street, perversely touching my arm and stroking my son’s head as if he was a dog while making cooing noises and saying how much he looks like me. I’m 6’4”. My son’s mere inches in length. I don’t wear babygros. My son doesn’t have size 12 feet. I have green eyes. My son has blue eyes. We look nowt like each other. Basically the only thing we have in common is that we both can’t grow a beard. I don’t need human beings – whom I dislike at the best of times – greeting me in the street as if we’re long lost pals, having completely forgotten what a social boundary is.

If my son completes any sort of normal human function such as crying, smiling, farting, shitting, grumbling, making a cup of tea, having a pint or doing the dishes, the knock-on effect and consequent overreaction of other adults is astounding. The level of unfettered fawning is just cloying. My son – as handsome as he is – looks like pulped mincemeat when he’s trying to push out a shit and no amount of sickly sweet-nothings will convince me otherwise. Trying to keep a fixed grin on your face while human beings spout shite about your offspring is utterly debilitating.

All this while trying to ensure everyone’s had enough cuddles with him, everyone’s chipped in their two cents with the parental advice, and they all know when they’re next going to see him. Christ on a crystal meth binge. At least with a baby there’s only one human to look after.

So let me be clear: looking after a baby – easy. Looking after grown ups – not easy.

Father & Son goals...

Father and son goals…

Truth #2: all of the above (with the exception of other people ruining things – this rings true for both parents) only applies to the father. For the father, parenting is a fucking doddle. This is because the father barely has to lift a frigging finger. Of course, there are standard parenting duties that all parents must adhere to: changing nappies, feeding, hearing it scream in the night, telling it to shut the fuck up etc etc. But mainly, the dad pretty much gets off Scott free.

If the bairn is crying to be fed countless times during the night it sure as fuck isn’t going to be the father who gets his flabby tits out to feed it. He’s going to slumber like the saggy ape he is and leave all the difficult work to the mother. If the baby is crying its arse off, there’s only so much a dad can do to placate the thing before he hands it over to the mother to sort out with her boobs or the TLC that the father hasn’t evolved enough to acquire. Basically, any excessive drama with their offspring and all dads know that the baby is going to end up in the mam’s arms until it’s fed or calmed. Spoiler alert: this is an intrinsic knowledge that all fathers have and know about. They’ll ultimately know that there’s going to be no final burden on them because it’ll always fall to the mother to sort things out. And they can go off for a shit, a beer, a sneaky tug in the bathroom, whatever.

With Laura breastfeeding, we’ve fallen into a routine where I get to do all the sleeping during the night while Laura has to stay up feeding, burping, changing and rocking Finn to sleep. Of course, I hear him shouting and squirming but I have the luxury of turning over and snoozing while she puts the graft in. So I get at least five hours sleep a night while she gets barely any. I suspect this is the case for most fathers with a breastfeeding partner. And if you’re a dad reading these past couple of paragraphs and deny these facts then you’re a liar and your penis is going to come loose.

If the stress of the 9 month pregnancy, the mood swings, the hormonal changes, the actual birth itself and the emotional days post-pregnancy weren’t enough for the mother, then the following months of unadulterated horror are truly excruciating while the main problems for the dads are moaning about only having six hours sleep, and missing the football on a Sunday afternoon because they have to spend it pulling faces at their offspring while covered in shit.

So there you have it, dads. Be thankful you have a (small) penis, and a deep voice. You’ve drawn the long straw. Now stop being a whinging piss-pot and rub her back more.

Love you.



Correspondence #8: British Gas

'Transfer me the moneyyyy! - a quote for all ages.

‘Transfer me the moneyyyy! – a quote for all ages.

Roger Moore is a towel thief. I’m quoting the great Alan Partridge here but for the purpose of this article it’s important to substitute the words ‘Roger Moore’ with ‘British Gas’, and ‘towel thief’ with ‘fucking thieving bastard’.

Apparently Laura has spent her entire adult life – that’s 50 years – trying to claim back the money she’s overpaid to British Gas for her household electric. Laura is quite the environmental crusader so has some of those shiny solar panels on the roof of our house which I always thought were just for show, or to convince people you cared about the environment when really you quite enjoy littering, and are vaguely impressed by huge oil spills that decimate the entire sea life in the North Atlantic. Amazingly, however, they actually work (my laptop is currently being powered by the Sun-God, Ra) and this caused all sorts of confusion to the top brass at British Gas who couldn’t understand the concept, and were baffled as to why our electricity usage was lower than they’d predicted.

Eventually, I decided to take on the case and politely asked them to give Laura her fucking money back because for months they just refused to hand it over. Given the robotic responses of each individual I spoke to, I’m convinced I was corresponding with an artifical intelligence of some sort. Perhaps a T-1000, but ideally Johnny-5.

N.B. As an added titbit of information, during this saga a British Gas meter reader came round to our house to read the meters, used our toilet and clogged it.


British Gas Customer Service <>
Jun 2
to me

Dear Miss Laura,

Thank you for letting us know that you wish to have a refund.

I’m sorry that you unable request refund form your online account.

I understand that the current balance on your electricity account is £1052.22 in credit. I do understand you should be able to request this refund without any error.

However, I would like to let you know, whenever we calculate your payment plan, we also consider available balance on the account.  This means, that your current credit balance is included in your payment plan.  This is the reason, when you request for refund system inform you that your payment amount will be incase.

Just to let you know, If you have a credit on your account at your annual review which is in mid October 2016 of £5.00 or more, we’ll automatically refund this back to you.

Please reply to my email, if you still wish to have a refund and I’ll be glad to assist you further. If you decide to have a refund then your payment plan will be re-started and payment amount can be increase or decrease.

I’m sorry that you have been unhappy with our service and have found it necessary to raise the complaint.  We appreciate all customer feedback as it enables us to continually improve the level of service that we provide to our customers.

Please get in touch by 16 June 2016 on the details above, so we can progress this for you.

If  you don’t need us to help or you’re happy that this is now resolved, you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close your complaint on 16 June 2016.

If you’d like information about our complaints handling procedure you can view a copy by either going online at, or by getting in touch and one of our advisors will arrange to send you a copy free of charge.

Thank you for contacting British Gas.

Kind regards

Sunil Kshirsagar

Customer Service Advisor


Chris James Peet <>
Jun 3
to British Gas

Dear Sunil,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

While I appreciate you taking the time to cut and paste large swathes of generic text from your ‘banal and pointless responses to irritating customers’ file into an email and clicking ‘send’, unfortunately the majority of your reply made no sense at all, and the bits that did make sense were irrelevant to the enquiry that I was making.

Call me unkind, but basing an electricity payment plan on the amount of available balance in the account is not only ridiculous but also vacuously stupid. I can’t even think of what it’s like being a new customer to British Gas what with not having any accrued credit at all. I should imagine the monthly payment should run into the millions. Similar to the way in which you treat your customers, I expect people revert to being Neanderthals, lighting small fires in their homes for warmth and murdering their neighbours for food. Given the excessive noise that our neighbours make, it’s quite possible that this could happen sooner rather than later.

In response to your information that come our annual review in October that any account credit over £5 will automatically be refunded to us, it makes sense to just cut out the waiting around time and pay us back the £1052.22 that you currently owe us straight away.

Please confirm this via email at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards,

‘Mr Laura’


British Gas Customer Service
Jun 4
to me

Dear Mr Laura,

Thank you for your email about the Direct Debit payment plan.

I’m sorry that you aren’t happy with the previous reply.  I do understand that there should have been actual credit on your account which you able to request easily.

Upon checking your electricity account, I see that the payment plan is set up incorrectly.   Please don’t worry, I’ve now cancelled the payment plan. However, I see that we haven’t billed your gas account in last 28 days.  In order to send the refund, it’s necessary to bring your account up to date.

It would be great, if you’ll reply to my email with the current readings for both gas and electricity. Once I receive the readings, I’ll first bill the account then set up payment plan and send you refund.

I’ll give you calculation about how the credit balance adjusted against payment plan. I’ll also let you know, if I’ll be able to send you the refund. I’m sorry that this information wasn’t given to you in ealier email. It was never our intension to make our customers unhappy with our reply.

Mr Laura, I really want to help you and I assure you that I’ll set everything right for you. I also understand your annual review will be done by mid October 2016 which will be longer period to have a refund.

Furthermore, I see that you aren’t named on Miss Laura’s account. It would be great, if you’ll reply to my email with the scan copy of Letter of Authority duly singed by her. Once I have it, I’ll add you as a representative on the account so that you can contact us on behalf of her.

I’m sorry I’ve not been able to fully resolve your enquiry today. I’ll contact you again on 5 June 2016 to give you an update on my progress.

If you would like to review our Complaint Handling Procedure please visit our website or alternatively, reply to my email and I will arrange to send you a copy free of charge through the post. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reply to my email.

Thank you for contacting British Gas.

Kind regards

Sunil Kshirsagar
Customer Service Advisor


Chris James Peet <>
Jun 6
to British Gas

Dear Sunil,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

Additional thanks for noticing that the payment plan has been set up incorrectly. Given my recent experience with British Gas in order to secure this long overdue refund which has included telephoning you 34 times, live-chatting on your website 12 times, chatting for an hour to a man who came to take our meter readings about what the best way to open a cupboard door is, and currently corresponding with you via email, it doesn’t surprise me that our account is in something of a mess. I suspect incompetence is just standard operating procedure at British Gas.

I’m intrigued to know exactly how the credit balance will adjust against the new payment plan. As I understand it, there’s £1052.22 in our account that we’ve overpaid and as I presume you’ll estimate what our electricity consumption will be over the next 12 months, I suspect a large portion of this money will magically disappear in order to reflect this hypothetical scenario. In 2014 I estimated that England would win the World Cup and gambled approximately four months wages to reflect my confidence in this hoping that the winnings would allow me to set up my own science lab like Walter Bright out of Breaking Brad, and perhaps one day come up with an alternative fuel source in order to bring the fossil fuel industry to its knees. Unfortunately England went out in the first round, as did a third of my annual salary from my SkyNet account, leaving me completely destitute and realising that clairvoyancy probably wouldn’t be a good career choice. Given that we’ve overpaid over £1000 to British Gas, I suspect your skills at predicting the future should amount to something similar.

With this in mind, once again I would like to request the full refund of £1052.22 that is in our account, along with any interest that British Gas has accrued on this money. Although the internet exists and I am currently on it, I couldn’t figure out what the current interest rates are so I asked the angry builders who are currently putting in a new downstairs toilet in our home. They said we’re due back another £500 on top of this and I for one won’t argue with them as they seem to be perpetually annoyed, and have poor taste in music and questionable views on the EU referendum. I would also assert that this additional interest payment we’re probably due will include the emotional distress of having to repeatedly correspond with a company that clearly doesn’t like us.

As requested, here are the latest gas and electricity readings, taken by the aforementioned gas and electricity meter reading man who visited our home earlier this month. He enjoys cupboards, using our toilet and taking gas and electricity meter readings.

Electricity: 91147

Gas: 1121

I hope this matter will be resolved and our full refund will be forthcoming because we’re running out of food.

Kind regards,

‘Mr Laura’


British Gas Customer Service
Jun 8
to me

Dear Chris

Thank you for your email about refund.

I’m sorry to know about your financial issues and you’ve not yet received the refund. I’m also sorry as you’ve to contact us numerous times to receive the refund. I regret that your impression of British Gas is not good at present and would like to assure you that this is not typical of the level of service we strive to provide.

Last we’ve annually reviewed the electricity account in mid of November 2015. At your annual review if your account is in credit by over £5.00, and the bill is to an actual meter reading, we’ll automatically refund the credit to you. As the account was not billed to an actual meter reading the refund was not sent automatically by our system.

Just to let you know, your payment plan runs for a year and we split your expected usage over equal instalments.  This means that in the summer you’ll usually pay more than you use to cover your higher winter usage.  It’s normal for you to build up credit or debit balances from time to time, these even themselves out over the course of your payment year. Our aim is for you to have a zero balance at the end of your payment year.

The reading confirmed by you of 91147(electricity) and 1121(gas) are same as confirmed on 1st June 2016. Please reconfirm your meter readings.

Also having checked the account details further, I see that the energy account for your address is solely registered in the name of Miss Laura. Due to Data Protection Act I’m unable to discuss the account details with you and proceed with your request to send refund.

We’ll be happy to add you as nominee on the account holder’s energy account to make sure that we can discuss all  the account details with you in future.  Please reply to my email with the Letter Of Authority signed by the account holder so that we can add you as a nominee on the account.

I wish to resolve this matter as quickly as possible for you. Please get in touch by 22 June 2016 with the details above, so I can progress this for you.

If however, you don’t need us to help or you’re happy that this is now resolved, you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close your complaint on 22 June 2016.

If you would like to review our Complaint Handling Procedure please visit our website or alternatively, reply to my email and I will arrange to send you a copy free of charge through the post.

We look forward to hearing from you.Thank you for contacting British Gas.

Kind regards

Kiran Jawale
Customer Service Advisor


Chris James Peet <>
Jun 8
to British Gas

Dear Kiran,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

While I understand your insistence on repeating what has already been discussed in great detail via email, telephone, web chat and with a real life human being, I fear the circles we appear to be going in in order to get this resolved are becoming all too reminiscent of my current failings at learning to drive, specifically the many times I drive for whole hours in circles on the inside lane of a roundabout and being completely unable to exit at any point unless I drive into another car and run it off the road. Did you know if you crash into another car and cause extensive damage and injury you can’t just drive off into the sunset? I had no idea.

I’ve also taken the time – at no extra cost to you – to ask my girlfriend to add me as a VIP on the account in order to enable me to comprehensively meddle in her affairs. It should be noted here that she is 36 months pregnant therefore some of her communication with me was somewhat erratic and I was forced to place her in an arm-bar like the ones you see in UFC so I could get her to acquiesce to me being on the account. The below correspondence is a letter of authority discussion between me and my beloved with regards adding me to the energy account:

Me: ‘Hi, baby.’
LC: ‘Hi, baby. You are so handsome and sweet and wonderful. Thank you for spending 6 weeks of your life speaking to the British Gas people in order to get back the money that they stole from us.’
Me: ‘Thanks, baby. I’ll do anything for you. Will you give me access to your energy account so I can discuss it in more detail with Kiran and Sunil? I could really use £1000.’
LC: ‘What? Excuse me while I’m sick into the toilet.’
‘Are you okay, baby?’
LC: ‘Not really. It’s tough being 36 months pregnant, you know.’
Me: ‘Enough about that. Where are we at with me having direct access to this £1000?’
LC: ‘What?’
Me: ‘Hey, baby. Have you ever watched the UFC?’
LC: ‘What’s that?’

I, Miss Laura, hereby allow my beloved fiancé Chris James Peet, aka ‘Mr Laura’, full access to my British Gas & Electricity account.
Sincerely… Miss Laura.

Finally, given your obvious displeasure at having to pay us back the money that we’re so obviously owed, would it be pertinent in this instance to simply cancel our account with you, pay off our final bill and reclaim the money that way? We’ve decided to revert to the ways of the Neanderthal man as per my original email and will be setting fire to all of our earthly possessions in order to keep us warm during the lonely nights, cook our pet fish as food, and perform naked ceremonial Pagan rituals to the Goddess of Gas & Electricity around a homemade bonfire in our living room in order for us to have a blessed summer.

Therefore, as we are going to be leaving British Crass then we’d like the full refund of £1052.22 to deposited into our account along with any accrued interest on this. I will send updated meter readings when I learn how to count.

I look forward to your Speedy Gonzales response.

Kind regards,

‘Mr Laura’


British Gas Customer Service
Jun 8
to me

Dear Mr Laura,

Thank you for your email about the refund.

I’m sorry you’ve not yet received the refund and for the repeat contact this has caused.

I’m sorry for your driving concerns.

I’m sorry to know about Miss Laura’s health and for repeat contact this has caused.

I regret to inform you that, due to Data Protection Act we need the account holder to contact us or you can reply with the Letter Of Authority signed by Miss Laura (account holder) so that, we can process your request for refund.

Also the reading confirmed by you of 91147(electricity) and 1121(gas) are same as confirmed on 1 June 2016. Please reconfirm your current meter readings.

I wish to resolve this matter as quickly as possible for you. Please get in touch by 22 June 2016 with the details above, so I can progress this for you.

If however, you don’t need us to help or you’re happy that this is now resolved, you don’t need to do anything and I’ll make the arrangements to close your complaint on 22 June 2016.

If you would like to review our Complaint Handling Procedureplease visit our website or alternatively, reply to my email and I will arrange to send you a copy free of charge through the post.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for contacting British Gas.

Kind regards

Kiran Jawale
Customer Service Advisor


Chris James Peet <>
June 18
to British Gas

Dear Kiran,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

After taking your advice and once again contacted British Gas in order to secure this refund, I have now managed – via 14 customer service advisers, a lot of swearing and a mild heart attack – to be added to Miss Laura’s energy account. It only took 7 hours being transferred between telephone operators and extensively clueless human beings in order to arrange this.

Once, when I was about 9, I was forced to watch a film entitled, ‘The Never Ending Story’, which was about a drunk flying goat who transported a small boy around space while reading a large dusty book that he would punch a lot. For a child, it was entertaining in a way that watching someone fall over in public and hurt themselves would be for an adult. Eye-opening, exhilarating and potentially bloody. It didn’t escape me, however, that the story did actually end after about an hour and a half which, looking back, was the biggest example of false advertising I’ve ever seen, and it scarred me for life.

Thankfully, due to the protracted nature of this correspondence with you, I am a believer once again in ‘The Never Ending Story’ saga only this time it’s called ‘The Never Ending Story Continues To Never End: The British Gas Years’. I think it’s a catchy title.

With contemporary film being the theme of this email, allow me to quote from another recent film in order for us to secure the £1052.22 that you’ve stolen from us. It’s from a movie entitled ‘Jenny Maguire’  which stars Tommy Cruise as a secret agent who steals money from one of his clients, Tuba Goody Jnrs.

‘Please transfer me the money! Please transfer me the money! TRANSFER ME THE MONEY! TRANSFER ME THE MONEEYYYY!’

It’s an excellent quote and food for thought too.

I expect a full refund will now be transferred into our bank account in due course.

Kind regards,

Chris ‘Mr Laura’ Peet


British Gas Customer Service
Jun 20
to me

Dear James Peet

Thank you for the enquiry you sent regarding a refund, I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you.

Unfortunately I am unable to help for the time being, as you are currently not named on the account, and as such I am unable to disclose any information regarding the account.

This is due to the Data Protection Act.

If you would like to be named on the account, please call us on 0800 048 0202* when you are with the account holder, so we can get permission to either speak to yourself, or add your name to the account.

Alternatively, you can send in a signed power of attorney letter from the account holder, with the account number and details, authorising you to be added to the account. This can be posted, or attached to an email. Our mailing address is:

British Gas, PO Box 227, Rotherham, S98 1PD.

Once you have been added to the account, or we have verbal permission from the account holder to discuss the account with yourself, we will be able to disclose any information you require.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please contact us should you need any help in the future and thank you for contacting British Gas.

Kind regards

Christopher Smith


Chris James Peet <>
Jun 30
to British Gas

Dear Topher Smit,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I apologise in turn for my tardy response but after receiving your latest email regarding not being named on the account after previously being added to the account by a dozen customer service advisers, I’ve spent the previous couple of weeks in a secure mental health facility.

While it must rank as one of the most satisfying aspects of your job, telling people to frack off in the most roundabout way possible doesn’t naturally appeal to me. I prefer to do it directly, especially if I’m doped up on all those drugs that I stole from the mental hospital.

With this in mind, it greatly pleases me to inform you that this is a sentiment that very much rings true as given the ongoing saga of securing the refund, a quality of customer service that ranks up there with having one’s head slowly crushed in a vice, and a quite astounding level of stupidity as standard operating procedure, I have no other alternative but to abandon ship and move to another energy supplier.

Thankfully, and via another four telephone calls to your helpline which included being hung up on three times, we have managed to secure the refund. I did this all by myself on the telephone despite not being on the account. When the adviser asked to speak the account holder I simply affected a voice similar to that of Marilyn Monroe when she serenaded JFK on his birthday, way back during the first world war. To be fair, anyone hearing that voice would be putty in their hands so I was able to close the account and acquire the funds that were due to us. As a watertight security measure, handing a phone over to the account holder to okay someone else to meddle with it is on a par with those watertight doors on the Titanic: fucking pointless. The ship sank, you know. I saw it once in a documentary with her out of that film she was in with Leonardo the Caprio. I hope this explains the reference of me abandoning ship. I own my own lifejacket.

Anyway, as much as it upsets me to finally end this correspondence, I am now ending this correspondence.

Frack the frack off.

Kind regards,

James ‘Mr Laura’ Peet

A Wrong’un On The Road: The Final Journey

'Tree-folk person'

‘Tree-folk person’


‘You’ve given it a go but maybe driving just isn’t for you?’ – my mother.

‘How can’t you do it!?’ – my brother, Anthony.

‘I don’t understand! You’re not usually this thick. How can’t you drive?!’ – my mate, Emma.

‘Driving’s fucking easy. What’s wrong with you?’ – my best mate, Phil.

‘Slow, turn, TURN, STOP, STOP! STOPPPP! STOP NOW! BRAKE! BRAKE! JESUS!’ – my loving fiancée, Laura.

These are just a handful of comments I’ve received from some of my nearest and dearest in relation to my overblown, protracted and quite ridiculously inept attempts at learning to drive. In all honesty I thought I’d have killed myself on the road by now, and by that I mean in a fit of bug-eyed frustration whereby I’ve flipped and high-tailed the car at 80mph off the side of a bridge – the irony being that I wouldn’t know what sodding gear it was meant to be in in order to reach 80mph. As it is I’ve struggled through with only a few minor scrapes, just the two crashes, a handful of deranged looking drivers throwing various hand signals at me, a hopeful confidence that has been well and truly crushed, and a bank account that spits bile at me whenever I attempt to withdraw money from it to pay for a lesson.

Those above quotes are pretty representative of just how bewildered I am at my inability to learn the basics of driving. It’s utterly infuriating that I don’t have a sodding clue what I’m doing especially when I see some of the half-evolved fuckwits that currently patrol the roads in their souped up little shitwagons. I hate to spaff on my own ego here but how come some post-pubescent pisspot with a face so smug you’d happily punch it every day until the end of time can whizz around in their pimp-mobile with one finger on the steering wheel and fly into a parking space with perfect precision at 65mph while I spend about 15 minutes attempting to adjust my seat, start the car and move away before stalling at the first junction? It’s a desperately infuriating state of affairs that my brain just refuses to engage with the concept of driving.

Imagine driving with just one hand on the wheel. Fucking cartoon show off fuck.

Imagine driving with just one hand on the wheel. Fucking cartoon show off fuck.

The way I’m braying on about it, anyone stumbling across this post would understandably presume I’ve only had about a half-dozen lessons and that I’ll eventually get the hang of it so it’s probably pertinent to leave a reminder here that I’m 36 lessons in. Thirty-six. That equates to about 60 hours worth of tuition with various instructors, all of whom are baffled, shocked or a combination of both that I can only pull away at junctions 50% of the time, repeatedly drive through red lights because I’m too busy staring at my feet wondering how my left foot has ended up on the accelerator, or constantly swerve across lanes as if I’ve spent the preceding few hours mainlining whisky into my basilic vein. In all seriousness, it depresses me that I’m completely unable to grasp the fundamentals of manoeuvring a car especially when I’m a fabulous passenger driver. I can see idiocy and dangerous driving a mile off yet when I decide to drive a car I’m the epitome of it. It’s like I undergo a small but vicious lobotomy the minute I put the key in the ignition.

After 60 hours of driving tuition I still struggle to put the car into the correct gear resulting in it spewing out a noise similar to what I can only presume is the automobile equivalent of hocking up a massive pile of phlegm and regurgitating it onto the road; whenever I approach a junction or roundabout I’m unable to prevent the car going into what I call ‘judder mode’ whereby the car shakes relentlessly as I’ve no idea what gear it’s meant to be in, and suggests I’d be much more at home driving a car on the dodgems at the funfair; parking has become an exercise in absolute embarrassment as I have zero spatial awareness, and it’s still absolutely mesmerising to me that humans can manoeuvre a car into a small rectangular shape without slamming it into an adjoining parked vehicle – my parking attempts consist of eight to ten manoeuvres, three stalls which include knocking the wipers on and off multiple times, and several bumps of the kerb and anyone who happens to be walking near it, spread out over two parking spaces. It’s ritual humiliation and I’m actually paying hard cash for it.

The most recent indignity involved a roundabout, a tractor, my instructor grabbing the wheel shouting ‘fuck!’ at the top of his lungs, a lot of screaming on my part, and the car thumping into the huge tractor wheels before we spluttered to the side of the road whereby I ended the lesson early and returned home to empty the drinks cabinet. I don’t think driving was meant to be this cumbersome.

One of the more annoying aspects of being this far into failing at learning to drive is the relentless positivity from other human beings about my progress, or lack thereof. It’s quite impressive the level at which people dismiss my concerns and overall fears when even thinking about actually getting inside a vehicle, let alone attempting to drive the bastard. If one more person suggests I’m better than I think I am, that it’ll all just click into place, that I should just stick with it, that I’ll get there eventually, or that it’ll all be worth it in the end, then I’m quite happy to go all Michael Douglas in Falling Down and unload on them with a hastily made sawn-off and a lot of sweating and pontificating about how bad the burgers are in my local fast food restaurant. What these bad prats don’t realise is that I’ve developed such a fear of cars that I now develop nausea whenever a car pulls up outside of my house lest I panic and think someone will knock on the door and ask me to drive it for some reason. I’m actually hypothesising imaginary scenarios involving having to move a car from A to B. That’s not good. The last driving lesson I had I politely asked my instructor if I could just sit in the passenger seat, watch him drive and learn that way instead of actually driving. He looked at me as if I’d just been sick on his lap, and bundled me into the driving seat as if I was being kidnapped.

Of course, the upsetting thing about all of this is that I actually want to drive. I want to be able to get around town without having to rely on public transport and the consequent guarantee that I’ll be accompanied on the bus journey by a 15 stone human sasquatch who slams his globulous frame right next to me, smells of wet dog and keeps inadvertently touching me with his fat arse each time the bus goes round a roundabout. I can do without all that malarkey.

This is something of a serious and sobering blog post as it’s the end of an era for me. An era that’s cost me my dignity, my finances, my patience, temperament and sanity, any semblance of confidence I once had, and a highly attuned hatred of anything that’s able to drive a car. Obviously I’m not bitter at all. Obviously. That would just be silly. Silly and immature. Silly and immature and pathetic. But fuck you, you petrolhead fucks.

As a postscript, I’ll leave you with this quote and clip from the existential genius, Mark Corrigan of Peep Show:

‘That’s it. I resign. I give up. No more lessons. The machines have won. I shall take to the hills and live with the tree-folk people’.

Correspondence #7: BPO Collections

The 'show me the money!' scene from Jerry Maguire.

The ‘show me the money!’ scene from Jerry Maguire.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been hounded by angry collection agencies or bailiffs. Once, after repeatedly forgetting to pay my drug dealer for a large stash of illegal drugs, he sent what I could only presume to be a bailiff round to my house to collect the debt that way. I’d read that you should never open the door if a bailiff comes calling but thankfully I was on the toilet and in some distress when he arrived so I couldn’t make it to the door anyway. There was a lot of knocking and he tried the handle a few times but I literally couldn’t budge from the toilet without fainting so he got bored and left after about an hour. I later learned he was a psychotic and heavily armed thug and was attempting to remove the door from its hinges in order to get me but was scared off by the little old lady next door turning on her telly at 10,000 decibels. That’s all definitely a true story.

The below correspondence is a obviously an equivalent digital version of the above anecdote.


Our Client: British Telecom
BPO Reference No: 110033010
Principal Sum: £38.06
Administrative Fee: £7.61


Dear Mr Chris Peet

We refer to the above and are writing to advise that our client has instructed BPO Collections Ltd (“BPO”) to recover the outstanding amount of £38.06 owed to them. Please be aware that British Telecom has passed the account to BPO to collect the full outstanding balance and request that all payments be made directly to BPO.

Whilst this account remains unpaid, details are being registered with one or more Credit Reference Agencies. Failure to settle your account or enter into a repayment plan may significantly affect your chances of obtaining credit in the future.

Payment may be made by

  • Calling BPO and speak to one of our trained advisors where you can pay by Card or set up a Direct Debit
  • Calling our 24hr Automated Payment Line
  • Pay by Card online at
  • Online Banking / Bank Transfer, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sort Code ********, Account Number ******** quoting your BPO reference number
  • Please send Cheques / Bankers Draft / Postal Orders to our address

If you are experiencing difficulty in making these repayments please see below for useful websites and contact details that provide free advice.

If you wish to speak to one of our trained advisors please contact our office on 0141 375 0900.

Citizens Advice Bureau
0844 111 444,

0800 138 1111 FREE,

National Debtline
0808 808 4000 FREE,

Yours Sincerely

Graham Rankin
Managing Director
BPO Collections Ltd


From: Chris James Peet
Sent: 31 March 2016 09:34
To: BPO Collections (BT)
Subject: Re: Important Information regarding your British Telecom Account – Please Do Not Ignore

Dear C3P0 Connections Ltd,

Many thanks for your friendly email.

With reference to an angryface email I’ve received from British Telecom regarding an unpaid debt of £38.06 I’m apparently liable for, I was actually advised to contact you to discuss my financial circumstances until you kindly contacted me yourselves with lots of bold words, digital signatures and love. Given my general hatred of human beings and telephones as well as my inability to count to anything higher than the number of fingers I have on my hands, I much prefer to use email correspondence as opposed to dialling and then speaking to someone on the blower. Due to years of recreational drug abuse, my slightly slurred speech would simply be annoying to whoever I was speaking to.

According to the ubergruppenfuhrers at BT HQ, several reminders about the above debt were sent to me, although the aforementioned head honchos neglected to inform me what type of reminders these were. I should only presume they were letter reminders which may be something of a problem as I no longer live at the address at which my BT account was active which means they’ll be sitting unopened and unloved on the floor of my former residence, perhaps wondering what they’ve done to deserve this neglect. The new tenant there certainly hasn’t forwarded them to me which is understandable as I never forward post that is addressed to previous residents. Usually they go straight in the bin or used as emergency toilet paper unless they were birthday cards in which case I’d open them, pocket any money that was inside then blue tack the cards to the wall to make it look as though it was my 5th birthday.

I apologise for not receiving the reminders but now that I know I am in debt I will endeavour to make payment at the earliest opportunity. While my financial circumstances don’t currently stretch to £38.06 I would be happy to discuss other ways in which to clear this. At present I am funding my drug habit by pilfering money from the petty cash at work and given how lax the security is at the office coupled with my questionable moral compass, I am more than willing to take an additional few notes if it will help resolve this debt. Please let me know if this would be acceptable.

I’ve also added an administrative fee of £19.80 to cover the cost of sending this email and should expect this to be deducted from the total debt.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,



On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 10:28 AM, BPO Collections (BT) wrote:

Good Morning

Thank you for your email. We are glad to hear that you are looking to get this resolved with us.

However the £19.80 administration fee you mentioned does not alter the balance as this charge is not mutually agreed in a court of law. Furthermore, theft is not an advisable way to clear the balance.

Can I please ask you to fill out the attached income and expenditure form and return it to myself via email. This is just to ensure that this payment is financially suitable for yourself and is not going to cause financial hardship. Can you please also advise if all priority bills are up to date at the moment.

Once this is received I will review your incomings and outgoings and put your repayment arrangement in place. I will send you an email with confirmation of your arrangement.

In the meantime I have placed your account on hold for 7 days to allow you time to fill in and resend the attached form.

Please be aware failure to contact ourselves after 7 days will result in your account going in to default and further contact will be made either by email\letter. telephone call or text.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact myself.

Yours Sincerely,

Jordan Millington
Administration Assistant
BPO Collections Limited


From: Chris James Peet
Sent: 14 April 2016 15:58
To: BPO Collections (BT)
Subject: Re: Important Information regarding your British Telecom Account – Please Do Not Ignore

Dear Jordy,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

I am glad to hear that you are glad to hear that I am looking to get this resolved with you. I appreciate you reducing the balance by £19.80 but if you could round it up to £20 to simplify things for me when it comes to figuring out the final debt owed that would be much appreciated. I feel my arithmetic skills are sharp because I regularly play darts but just to be clear that with the £20 reduction the current £38.06 debt will now be £12.50? Many thanks for confirming this as it will be a lot easier to pay off.

As requested I have printed out and filled in the expenditure form that you attached. I have sent it via Royal Mail, and, because I’ve seen the Back To The Future trilogy at least once and have a poster of Doc Emmett Brown on my bedroom wall despite how much this upsets my girlfriend, I have ensured that it will be delivered by the DeLorean time machine as seen on TV. I will post it tomorrow at 88mph so you should receive it last week and this will cut out a lot of the waiting around time. This is all at no extra cost to you apart from the aforementioned £20.00 which you have agreed to waive.

I extend additional thanks for placing my account on hold for 7 days while I endeavour to resolve this. According to Craig David’s seminal 2000 chart hit ‘7 Days’, during this period of time he met a girl on the Monday, took her for a drink on Tuesday, made love on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday then chilled on the Sunday. I expect he wasn’t worrying about an unpaid BT bill either as this might have affected his performance. I won’t hold out much hope for a week like that so the best that I am expecting is the agreed reduction of the debt to £12.50, and I hope to pay this in due course.

I trust this will settle the matter.

Kind regards,



On Fri, May 6, 2016 at 10:47 AM, BPO Collections (BT) wrote:

Good Morning,

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

I can confirm that we have not agreed to lower the balance and the full total outstanding is £38.06.

Just in-case my previous email was misunderstood, I have sent out the income and expenditure form to establish affordability on any payments you make.

Due to the terms and conditions of your BT contract the full balance is fully outstanding and you are legally liable for £38.06.

We are keen to see how you are looking to resolve this balance. Your account is currently on hold to await your response till the 21/4/16.

After this time the account will go back to on-going and further contact will be made either by call/letter/text/email.

Any further queries don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours Sincerely,

Jordan Millington
Administration Assistant
BPO Collections Limited


From: Chris James Peet
Sent: 6 May 2016 11:33
To: BPO Collections (BT)
Subject: Re: Important Information regarding your British Telecom Account – Please Do Not Ignore

Dear J-Mill,

Many thanks for your friendly reply which has taken a month to arrive. I can only presume there was a disruption in the space time continuum for it to have taken this long to arrive. When I sent my expenditure form via the DeLorean time machine it ended up in 1955 at Lorraine Bain McFly’s house and not in your inbox as previously confirmed. Many apologies for this.

Once again I extend my thanks for you agreeing to reduce the outstanding balance to £10 as per my previous email. This is a big help. With regard your keenness to see how I’m looking to resolve this balance, I have spent three days with my hand down the back of the settee searching for spare change and although I’ve only discovered 12p I did find the remote control for the television which had been missing for two months. This came as a huge relief to my girlfriend as she was sick of having to stand up and walk to the TV every time I wanted the channel changed which is about fifty times an hour due to my extremely low attention span. Plus she’s nearly eight months pregnant so the repeated effort of standing up and sitting down was causing her breathing difficulties. One night she said she was too tired to make my tea because of it which is just plain selfish.

Thanks also for holding the account balance until 21st April 2016 when you will once again set it loose on me. As your email arrived on 6th May I can only presume the email delays in the space time continuum are currently prolonged and extensive. I have emailed Dr Emmett Brown at Tech Support to see if he can help us out.

In the meantime, I am close to being able to clear the balance. If I add the sofa 12p to my current savings it means I will have approximately £2.50 which is only another £2.50 away from having the full amount.

Would you like me to pay this half of the balance now? I have my own chequebook, pen and signature.

Kind regards,



On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11:18 AM, BPO Collections (BT) wrote:

Good Morning,

Thank you for your email.

I would advise that you take this situation seriously. Failure to clear the outstanding balance could result in a negative credit rating and additional charges so it is in your best interest to make a payment as soon as possible.

We cannot accept ‘spare change from the back of the settee’ as a payment plan, nor has the balance been reduced to £5. You are still liable for the full amount of £38.06.

If you are having trouble paying the balance then please don’t hesitate to contact me as I will be able to help you set up a payment plan.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Kibble
Admin. Supervisor
BPO Collections Limited


From: Chris James Peet
Sent: 17 May 2016 11:33
To: BPO Collections (BT)
Subject: Re: Important Information regarding your British Telecom Account – Please Do Not Ignore

Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope…


On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 13:06 AM, BPO Collections (BT) wrote:

Dear Mr Peet,

With reference to the ongoing correspondence with BPO Collections regarding your outstanding balance of £38.06, please be aware that your account will remain on hold until such time that you are able to comfortably make payment in line with your current financial circumstances.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with regards this payment at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Kibble
Admin. Supervisor
BPO Collections Limited


From: Chris James Peet
Sent: 20 May 2016 15:22
To: BPO Collections (BT)
Subject: Re: Important Information regarding your British Telecom Account – Please Do Not Ignore

Dear Obi Wan Kenobi,

Many thanks for your friendly reply.

By the time I have acquired enough funds to pay the balance, apes will have taken over the planet so I will send a monkey foot soldier with a bag of bartered gold to pay the bill.

I trust this will finally settle the matter.

Hail Caesar!

Kind regards,




5 Ways Children Change Your Life… For The Worse

As you’re no doubt unaware, it’s gone completely unnoticed that I’d decided to take a few weeks off writing and updating this blog, mainly because I fucking hate every aspect of maintaining one and there are far more pressing concerns to attend to such as crashing my instructor’s car into random tractors during my driving lessons, and achieving my dream of quitting my job without another one lined up. Added to this is the fact that time as we know it is currently very much the same therefore it’s getting closer and closer to Laura squeezing a small baby out of her hoo-ha that I’m told I might well have to look after, and that one day, I fear, may grow to kill me.

So, as you can imagine, my intermittent life at present doesn’t leave much time for such things as writing shit for the internet. Thankfully, all is not lost as there is a human being who is very much on a par with me in regard to hating the world, everyone in it and society’s disappointing lack of enthusiasm to embrace the apocalypse in whatever form. His name is Jonjo and we became firm friends many years ago because of drugs. Which is how most true friendships start because who else wants to interact with another human being while sober? Fuck that.

Jonjo has very kindly agreed to write a guest post about parenting because, as a parent of at least one child that we’re aware of, he knows what’s what when it comes to navigating the terrifying waters of parenthood, the disturbing human beings that new parents encounter and the general gist of realising that all children are vicious little bastards.

My gracious thanks go to Jonjo, his facial hair and all those nights when we took our tops off and hugged.



5 Ways Children Change Your Life… For The Worse

Words: Jonjo McNeill

Who told you you could eat my cookies?

Who told you you could eat my cookies?

One thing I noticed when reading this blog is that the author is expecting a child to claw its way out of his other half’s vagina in the near future. This is understandably distressing news for any human as it means certain lifestyle changes need to be implemented. For me it was going from smoking crack every evening after work to smoking crack every morning on the way to work. One must adapt. If I was expecting a child the last thing I’d want to do is read the millions of articles and books intended to prepare you for the most seismic change you’ll know in your life. They’re all the same – start off with a bit about how you’ve read the books, decorated the bedroom, blah blah blah, followed by some terrifying statistics and concluded with a sickly sweet monologue extolling the virtues of fatherhood/motherhood, all designed to project some sort of bullshit persona that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.

If you’re up the duff, or dealing with a housemate who is, read this article, which is designed specifically to scare the living shit out of anybody with a soon-to-be-living mini-shit by telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the fucking truth.

Here are five ways children change your life…FOR THE WORSE.


5. People Insist On Coming To Your House

Don't answer the door...

Don’t answer the door…

The first thing on your mind when bringing your child home for the first time is how to fill the rooms, and time you savour, with as many people as possible. Day one might be okay – siblings, parents, your dealer – but after this it’s an unending procession of unwanted box-tickers going through the motions, repeating words like “eyes” and “nappies”. They all bring presents as well – but not good presents. They bring something they picked up on the way, like clothes for a 4 year old of the opposite sex. Or the same book three other people brought you BECAUSE THEY LOVED IT AS A CHILD. What you really want is some hard liquor, cigarettes or a hilarious baby-sized t-shirt from

When not under siege from what some people call ‘friends and family’, you find yourself doorstepped by do-gooders from the authorities, who will come in your house, strip your child naked and force them to sit on a cold metal platform to check their weight. They call them ‘health visitors’ but really they’re undercover police bastards, there to determine who deserves to have a child and who should be thrown in the river with the other junkies.

It’s bad enough that the youngling is invading your privacy.


4. An Alien Comes Out Of A Woman (And Turns You Into A Cannibal)



I’m not talking about the baby, although yes. Rather I refer to the placenta – a big lump of body-matter that slops out of the torn genitalia moments after the child, growling and trying to attach itself to the nearest human face in order to doom mankind to a future ruled by acid-spitting space bastards. Nobody prepares you for the sight of that thing. Also, it stinks. Some lunatics actually eat this foreign body, claiming it is full of nutrients (much like a hilarious seasonal jumper from The fact of the matter is, you’re eating human matter. You’re a cannibal.


3. Something The Size Of A Baby Takes Up An Entire House

Weapons. Always with the weapons.

Murderous little sods

Here are a list of just some of the things you are led to believe you need to raise a child in your home:
▪       A wooden prison cell
▪       A plastic bathtub to put inside your perfectly usable regular bathtub
▪       A machine that boils water and steams bottles
▪       A suction cup to remove breast milk
▪       A bottle to store removed breast milk
▪       A machine to clean the bottles and breast pumps
▪       Carton upon carton of powdered milk substitute for when the breasts and/or breast pump don’t do the trick
▪       All of the nappies
▪       A lock for your stash tin
▪       An attractive hoodie from
▪       High shelves to put everything that could be broken on (everything can be broken BTW. Get big shelves)
▪       A car seat
▪       A pushchair
▪       A smaller pushchair
▪       Child proof lighters
▪       Shitloads of something called ‘muslin’
▪       Arse cream
▪       Scented shit-bags
▪       Talcum powder
▪       A special set of drawers with a crap-proof mat on top
▪       Enough tiny clothes for circa nine changes a day

That’s what you’ll need for the first ten minutes. After that you’re on your own.

Fortunately, you can make space by selling your own bed, as you’ll be sleeping in a bus seat, in the office toilets or in your own back garden for the next six months.


2. You’re Suddenly Responsible For Another Person’s Finances

Little shits...

Some folk give your bairn money as a present. Don’t make the mistake I made and spend it on witty mugs from, as the giver will in all likelihood take offence. Apparently, any money given to new parents is to be placed in a trust fund to help the child out in the future. Now, call me a nit-picker, but surely the child must actually make it into the future for that money to be any use whatsoever? How can that child be expected to live up to 18 years if I can’t spend his child trust fund on lottery tickets, jazz mags and exotic European lagers? A happy dad is a happy child. Remember those words.



Fuck. The. Fuck. Off.

Fuck. The. Fuck. Off.

The worst thing about having a child – worse than the constant smell of shit, worse than the average 12 minute sleep per night, worse than the hormones and the hunger and the exhaustion and the absolutely crippling withdrawal symptoms – is the feeling of eyes burning holes into you at every opportunity. YOU’RE HOLDING HIM WRONG. YOU SHOULDN’T TICKLE HIS FEET. YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE HE SLEEPS ON HIS SIDE. OR BACK. OR FRONT. OR SUSPENDED FROM THE CEILING. BREAST IS BEST! BREAST IS WORST! EITHER IS FINE! LOOK AT THAT POOR BOY’S SHOES. WHAT’S THE RASH ON HIS FACE? HOW COME YOU HAVEN’T CLEANED THAT SICK OUT OF HIS HAIR? IT’S FREEZING, WHY ISN’T HE WEARING A SOMETHINGVICIOUS.COM SWEATER? It goes on, and on, and on. Eventually you’ll stop caring, but it’s a shit feeling when you’re waiting for someone to send that intrusive nanny bastard off the telly round to take your son away and set fire to your hair.

So there you are. A little island of truth in a vast sea of positive-thinking bollocks. Having a kid is great, but not for the first 6-12 months when basically you’re looking after the shittest puppy in the world. Enjoy your pregnancies and your 24 hour labours because that little fucker’s main goal until its first birthday is to make you unlearn everything you know about how to enjoy life successfully.

See you in 18 years, chump.


In grateful thanks to comrade Jonjo.

You might not know this but Jonjo runs a spectacular online t-shirt empire at He’s like the Walter White of t-shirt cartels except he has more hair and hasn’t killed as many people.

5 Fears I Have About Fatherhood

Father and Son

Since learning that my fiancee Laura is definitely, thoroughly, 100% wazzed up with a small, developing foetus whose sole hobby at present appears to be to make Laura as uncomfortable, ill and exhausted as possible, I’ve found that the impending fatherhood that’s hurtling towards me faster than when Laura’s little boy Max sprints at me with his lightsaber drawn and teeth bared is starting to stir up latent fears that I never even knew existed. Fears, I suspect, that only (would-be) parents are able to understand. As this is the first time I’ve ever experienced the unmerciful worry of expecting a child and all that it entails, it’s slowly starting to dawn on me that this unmerciful worry might not be buggering off and leaving me alone any time soon, and, in fact, is only just getting started.

As a misanthropic human being who finds the majority of human beings, myself included, irrationally stupid and irritating, you can imagine my slack-jawed surprise at discovering I’ve inadvertently created one of my own owing to our over-reliance on the rhythm method. That’s probably far too much information but the point I want to make is that impending fatherhood has caused me to conjure up anxieties that can emphatically remove one’s ability to think in a rational or cohesive manner. The slow but unremitting descent into parental madness has already begun, mostly when I’m sitting at my desk at work, scoffing crisps I’ve half-inched from the vending machine, and staring into the middle distance while the words ‘parent’, ‘dad’, and ‘what. the. actual. fuck’ do a tormenting dance of doom round my head.

Fear. All of the fear. All of it.

Fear. All of the fear. All of it.

Fortunately, I’m currently in the middle of an extensive training programme with Max and I’m quickly learning the ins and outs of upcoming dadhood. I’ve discovered with some aplomb that discussions with a small child don’t necessarily have to involve a conversation as such; more a frenetic rap of improvised words and half sentences spoken at 400mph and usually referencing a toy weapon, a heavily-sugared treat or an assiduous analysis of a favourite Ninjago character. Another startling revelation is how the space-time continuum dramatically alters whenever I’m dragged into the living room by way of a tight fist around my thumb in order to play some elaborately imagined game. Spending whole hours of your time breathlessly staggering around a room in the throes of a Star Wars Lego battle, while under strict rules that forbid you to use any Lego model other than that with which you’ve been carefully assigned, is immensely dispiriting when you realise that the whole hours you think you’ve been doing this actually amount to a grand total of about twelve minutes. It’s mind-blowing.

I’ve made peace with the unavoidable fact that whenever I’m in the bathroom it’s going to be accompanied by a symphony of relentless knocks on the door with cries of, ‘can you come and play yet?’ I’ve come to terms with being used as a climbing frame when I’m minding my own business on the settee and Max is in a playful mood, clambering all about my person simply because he can. I absolutely adore the sound of his laughter and the spontaneous hugs he bestows upon me. Thanks to his tutoring I’d like to think that I’m well on my way to completing my apprenticeship in modern parenting.

Unfortunately, this valuable training course doesn’t provide skills on how to cope with fear, worry and anxiety when faced with the undiluted terrors of pregnancy, childbirth and the resulting lifetime of ‘what the fuck do I do now?’ In fact it exacerbates them. Spending time with Max is telling me all I need to know about just how frigging terrifying this is all going to be, not only from the obvious natural concern that he’s going to be okay every single day of his life, and if he’s safe, happy and healthy, but other stuff too such as, ‘am I playing this game with him correctly?’, or ‘is he having fun with me today?’, or ‘does he hate me for refusing to allow him to tip the entire tub of fish food into the tank because he thinks the fish look particularly hungry?’ Traversing this minefield of anxiety is overwhelming. Of course these may sound like trivial concerns but until you’ve experienced the fallout from providing a small child with the incorrect plate at dinner then you have no base from which to judge.

General fears and worries about actually being a parent are slowly but viciously beginning to take over my life so I’ve put together a list of the ones I think are the most shit-my-pants inducing:


The Health Of Mother & Baby

Just healthy.

Just healthy.

Given what Laura’s currently going through with this pregnancy there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not scrolling through horror stories on the interweb about the worst case scenarios of pregnancy and childbirth. It’s chilling reading. I spend at least a whole day a week at work trawling through articles about what to look out for, what to do, how often to check this, that and the other when reading about some awful ailment that can befall a mother and her unborn child.

In fact, about a month ago, after discovering how to dispense free espresso from the coffee machine at work and helping myself to about 19 cups, I began reading a terrifying article about a woman who gave birth to a 400lb baby sideways that killed her, and I suddenly developed severe palpitations, a thick sweat that ran down my back like a layer of frost, and extremely worrying breathing difficulties. Thankfully I was calmed down by my workmates who dismantled the coffee machine and installed parental controls to Google that blocked all internet searches that included the words ‘pregnancy’, ‘fatherhood’ and ‘complications’, as well as the words ‘Brad’ and ‘Pitt’ given what they found in my internet history.

When it comes to Laura giving birth, the only thing I care about is the health of Laura and the baby. Boy, girl, hairless, hairy, screaming, laughing, covered in ectoplasm, not covered in ectoplasm, I don’t care. The only words I want to hear are, ‘mother and baby are doing well’.


Financial Fears

This is just part and parcel of being a parent I reckon.

This is just part and parcel of being a parent I reckon.

Presently, I work almost full time in a job that only pays when the overweight HR lady decides to log out of Facebook for long enough to run my hours through the payroll system. Consequently I spend a large amount of work time opening the vending machine cash boxes, taking large handfuls and replacing it with Monopoly money or doodles I do of the Queen when I should be doing more productive work like applying for jobs on the reception laptop or hiding in the disabled toilet when it’s busy. Despite how much fun it is, I can’t help but worry there’s an immoral if not criminal undertone to me helping myself to Mars Bars, Skittles and large amounts of currency but needs must.

As much as this so obviously appears to be a sound financial plan, I do have a niggling doubt that providing for my offspring in this way won’t quite offer it a secure or healthy platform for a rosy future. Just the other day I had a mild panic attack when I attempted to purchase a small Peter Rabbit-themed outfit from Mothercare. It cost nineteen sodding quid, it was smaller than my hand, and I had the depressing thought that one day I’d be using it to wash the dishes with.

As everyone is painfully aware, offspring cost money and my plan to mastermind a Point Break-style bank heist is the only way I can realistically see myself becoming financially solvent.


Responsibility/Readiness For Parenthood

Good parenting...

Good parenting…

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago I was drinking all night, sleeping for up to 12 hours a day and waking up chewing off my own tongue while threatening to kill anyone who ventured within four miles of my bedroom.

Nowadays I’m awoken any time between 12am and 6am by a child who enjoys shouting at the top of his voice for his mummy the minute his eyes open and realises it’s pitch black in his bedroom. Then when he eventually rouses himself and gives Laura and me a treat by climbing into our bed without one of us having to fetch him, he’ll spend another hour giving us a synopsis of the latest episode of Power Rangers as we loll about in a kind of drug-addled fuzz before he does his level best to clamber over or stand upright on various limbs while repeatedly making punching gestures and lightsaber noises in the general direction of my head.

I’m trying to consider whether being able to withstand this daily trauma counts as a huge accomplishment and a potential step forward towards my readiness as a father because, basically, I’m shit scared of whether I’ll be able to cope with every sodding aspect of parenthood. I should probably enrol on one of those mother and baby classes, buy a doll to practice on to see what my reaction is when I accidentally drop it on a hardwood floor, and start listening to Laura a bit more than I do when it comes to parenting. In the meantime, if anyone can offer any tips and advice please do so in monetary form via PayPal to the email address at the top of this page.


I’ll Become The Scourge Of Social Media



Few things are more galling than a parent who posts nothing but images, statuses and links about their kid or parenting to social media, specifically Facebook. Apart from those vacuous fuckwits who repeatedly post links to their tedious blog imploring their digital acquaintances to read it in order to appease their sense of self-importance, a human who throws every single aspect of their developing child onto the world wide web genuinely needs to get their priorities right. The internet is for annoying people, buying shit you don’t need and being a bigot, not for ruining your mates’ timelines with pictures of a pink alien looking bewildered.

More often than not the baby pictures tend to be the exact same image of the child with a shocked look on its face except dressed in a different outfit that presumably cost more than the parent’s weekly grocery shop. If I upload my future son or daughter’s entire life onto the internet before it can walk, talk, wipe its own arse or grow to an age where it can tell me to fuck off and mind my own business then you can happily report me to social services.


My Offspring Will Grow Up To Kill Me

Please, son, don't! Put the gun away! I bought you a Playstation when you were 8!

Please, son, don’t! Put the gun away! I bought you a Playstation when you were 8!

This is one of my biggest fears. How annoying would it be to raise a child as best you can only for it to turn on you the minute you ask it for a bit of rent once it turns 18? My best mate, Phil, a father of two, told me the other day that this was something that never crossed his mind at all but that the likelihood of it happening to me is extremely high which makes me wonder whether he himself thinks about killing me, and how often.

A similar fear is being the parent of a kid who ends up being a despotic lunatic with a penchant for genocide, a Sunderland fan, or one of those little spelks who can’t differentiate between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. Genuine concerns.


To be honest, I had another few hundred thousand fears and worries about fatherhood that I could have added to this list but at the risk of this turning into a cloying parenting blog I thought I’d better stop here.

My friends and family have insisted I’ll be able to just fall into it and be a fine father. Even people I don’t speak to or even like have contacted me to congratulate me and reassure me I’ll be a good dad which I find rather unsettling. Why I’m all of a sudden their best mate just because some of my semen can swim a few lengths without dying is beyond me.

But I digress. I should expect I’ll update the current status of my impending fatherhood over the coming months which I’m sure all both of you will be overjoyed to hear. In the meantime I’ll go back to sending irritating email to dimwitted strangers on the internet.