Tuesday, 22 October 2013

An Apology For My Previous Post About Yam Smuggling

I want to apologise for last night’s post. 2000 words on yams, lesbians, and the youthful Béatrice Dalle... What was I thinking? I sounded like a man ruled by his sex glands, a bush creeping pervert lusting after every newsreader. That’s far from the truth. I can’t say I lust after any newsreader with the exception of George Alagiah. Also, I was only semi-serious about entering into a life of crime. In the cold light of day (actually, the dim light of a torrential October morning) I realise that I stand about as much chance of becoming a successful male gigolo as I do becoming a successful writer or cartoonist.

Today I feel little better (writing that out last night helped) but also a touch more frustrated. I’m walking around with the phone in my back pocket in case the competition people ring to tell me that I’ve won, thereby justifying the years of struggle and poverty in the eyes of my family, friends and the postman who will no longer sneer as he hands me letters for ‘Stan Madeley’. Perhaps I overstate the importance of this phone call but not the problem of the phone in my pocket. It’s a wired-in landline and I’m trailing a cord wherever I go. I think the government should clamp down on these competitions and bring in a rule that they have to ring everybody who entered, just to stop them fretting or accidentally sitting on a full-sized BT handset as I’ve done twice this morning, bruising one buttock (the right) quite severely. Thankfully the left buttock is still looking pretty good so if any work does come in for a male gigolo, I’ll have to work listing slightly leftwards. Now there's an interesting question that's never been asked before in the history of the world: how much work is there out there for a leftward listing male gigalo?

Of course I could go and look at the website where the winners of the competition are to be announced but, for the moment, I prefer to live with the slim chance that I placed in the competition rather than knowing that my effort was consigned to the scrap big alongside every finger painted story about fairies and psychotic rants from the criminally insane. Mine was neither of those. Well, okay, it was a psychotic rant about fairies but I’m not criminal for the reasons I outlined last night: a lack of opportunities and a shortage of sexual charisma.

I don’t have much confidence in my entry, which given all this talk about sex makes it sound mildly obscene. I mean my competition entry rather than the climax of my gigolo work. It was too misanthropic for the happy clappy types who usually get to judge these things. It was also a bit wordy and not that well drawn, as you’ll see in the coming days when I publish it here. You’ll then be able to sit there and shake your heads silently thinking: ‘He thought this stood a chance? He’s closer to that mental edge than I ever suspected. I must remember to visit his blog more often in case I miss his imminent nervous breakdown…’

But listen to me rationalising why I won’t have won. I’ve never won a thing in my life…

I tell a lie. I once won Cricketer of the Year at my school. I won a Martin Scorsese biography from a national newspaper. I also won tickets to a computer fair but I think everybody who entered probably won those. But that’s everything I’ve ever won in my time on this planet. Pretty depressing don't you think?

Yet here I am, in such a negative frame of mind, when I also know there are people out there reading this. It’s particularly good to see that I’m picking up new readers all across the globe. I’m hoping I’m connecting with an intelligent but slightly angry demographic who understand what I’m about. That said, it’s a bit disappointing when a man offers to send a free signed book to anybody that wants one – and not any of that vanity published crap either, I meant a proper book – and he also offers to personalise it with a cartoon. And not a single person takes him up on the deal. Perhaps you all thought I was joking. Well, I wasn’t. I never joke. Except about lusting after George Alagiah. That was a joke. I meant Tim Marshall on Sky News…


  1. I loved last nights blog, as for the book I would rather pay, maybe we could do a deal, I could cut you some mounts. Orwell's book on the Spanish civil war only sold 15hundred copy's in his life time, and it is seen as a classic now. If you want my unqualified advise, don't give it away

  2. Ah, Sam, you'll always get me cheered up by mentioning my hero. I didn't know Orwell sold that poorly, though I can at least say I sold far in excess of that in the three months my book was in the nation's bookshops.

    I've got 100 of the bloody things sitting in the shed. I bought them for £2 when the rest were pulped to become Jordan's latest. I offer to give them away because I know people won't accept. I assume through indifference but it's good that you think differently. I'm laughing at the offer to make some mounts for me. I don't need anything mounting at the moment but I'll come to you when I suddenly start shift cartoons to collectors for a grand a pop.

    It's funny but last night I genuinely sat down to write my last blog post. I wrote it and felt utterly miserable and realised I was writing out of the wrong motives. Then I thought: sod it, just write something else and before I knew it, two hours had passed in utter bliss. I enjoy writing that kind of unstructured ramble through my brain and I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. Not been a good week and sitting waiting with this notably silent phone in my pocket isn't helping. I don't think I'm destined to have my work liked by The Guardian...

  3. NO MOUNTS, ARE YOU CRAZY. You must need mounts, I've cut mounts for cartoon archive in Canterbury you know, I have struggling artists begging me to do stuff on the cheap. How dare you in such a puplic way turn me down :)

  4. Oh, now you've made me laugh despite my best efforts today to feel sorry for myself. It's also hard to think of my pen and ink cartoons as anything other than sheets of paper I stick in a box. Those struggling artists you mention will be are real artists. I'm not. I don't know what I am (though there again: feeling sorry for myself).

    [Looks at phone...] Ring, damn you! Why won't you ring?

    I've also been digital for an entire month so the thought of framing my work hasn't occured to me.

    Thanks for cheering me up. If you want a book, email me an address. I'd love to send you copy.