Friday, 24 September 2010

Kama Slumber - the next book

Al Murray, The Pub Landlord, regards it as "The perfect book for somniacs and sleepaholics everywhere, golden slumbers guaranteed" while Robin Ince, author of 'Bad Book Club', suggests that "For so long the British have been laughed at for their unimaginative sleep positions, at last they can experimentally snooze properly with this important guide".

"Kama Slumber: A collection of sleeping positions for the adventurous unconscioteer" will be released on the 1st of October 2010 and will be available from, and to order in branches of Waterstones or WHSmith priced at £6.50.

The book is a tongue-in-cheek look at sleeping positions, each expertly modelled on its own page. As well as instructions on how to accomplish the position, it offers benefits and problems for prospective users. There are also sections within the book for the history of sleep, preparing for sleep and advanced sleeping practices. Although set out in a style reminiscent of similar publications it is intended as a humorous take on sleeping positions as opposed to a holistic approach that will genuinely benefit readers.

This information is supported by the back cover, which states the following: "This book is intended for entertainment only and it is not recommended that readers partake of the positions illustrated in these pages as an aid to sleep. There are no health benefits to be gained from copying the styles shown and the information provided is intentionally untrue. Still, it’s a laugh."

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Extract from "Don't Paint Your Camel With Enamel" (Lyvit Publishing, 2009)

New Day

(Tribute to Spike Milligan)

Ah, welcome to another day! Another day, another dollar. But I’ve never had a dollar in my life because I live in England, the land of milk and honey, which is why our buildings keep falling over. We do have the best tasting fields in the world, though.

Here we all love our work and love each other, or at least that’s what we pretend. Everybody walks around with a grimace on their face so that our peers can see how happy we are. How our face hurts at the end of each day! It’s all worth it to see so many smiles.

Milk and honey, faces and money, that’s what it’s all about. No time to dance though, there’s so much else to talk about.

On a fine morning there’s nothing better than looking up at the stars and realising that your clock is wrong. At least you’re not late and can sleep in, unlike those shift workers. Getting in at 3am, going back out at 6pm, and that’s on weekends when they’re visiting the pub! I was a shift worker once, but I got sacked for working the wrong shifts. That left me free to work the best shifts possible – none at all.

The biggest problems, shifts or not, come from the work. You don’t choose who you work with, you don’t choose the customers and you don’t choose your salary or bonuses. Why do we work then? Well, it would be rude not to.

Sitting at home all day, every day and scaring the postman is what we all dream about. Alas, dreams are all we have. Kayaking in the Mediterranean while eating chocolate cake is cheaper and easier to do when you’re asleep. I don’t recommend actually doing it while asleep though, as you may choke on your cake.

Indeed having your cake and eating it seems the best idea to me. Otherwise it would go stale and may need to be dunked into your tea. More cake? One lump or two? Plenty of time while we’re off work.

‘On the dole’, what a great expression. I get my money and sit on it or put it under the mattress and stay in bed all day. ‘I sign on’, it really is that simple. Have I done any work since we last met? How would you recognise me?

Getting up is a struggle some days. Yes, it’s a job to get up. Does this affect my entitlement? We’ll all be out of work soon as it’s drying up. Yes, it turns out work was just a spill on the carpet, which must be good news.

Colleagues, colleagues, colleagues – is there any other word that fills you with so much dread? Maybe ‘Wife’ or ‘Mortgage’, or both. With a wife and a mortgage, who needs enemies? The army, that’s who! Being employed to defend your country from nobody must be a boring job. The newsletter would suffer for a start.

We all dream of world peace, but we also want a piece of the world. Which piece? Our piece. But which one is ours? Undoubtedly the scrubbiest piece of land available. Can’t complain though, because we’re English. We must be subtle. Pardon me, How do you do. Excuse my French, but où est la gare routière? That’s what I thought.

I complain about a forty hour week. “Forty hours”, say some, “You’ve got it easy”. I disagree, as I’m a shark dentist. I’d do more, but I can’t hold my breath for any longer. It can be rewarding, particularly when a whole family tries to eat you in a week – at least I know that they appreciate their teeth. I would have been a chiropodist, but sharks don’t have feet.

Can we call them feet any more? Or are they metres? Half metres? Démi mĕtrès? I’m not against European policy, or for it, but what’s it all about? Everything’s changed colour, wires, ambulances, Parliament buildings. When I was a lad, red was red. Now, red is purple except on Sundays and Bank Holidays. What about the rest of us? Don’t we deserve a holiday, too?

Ah, government. Nowe their’s ay wurd thatz trikky two spel. Give me an hour in the Prime Minister’s seat and I’ll give you a warm seat. If you ever wanted to find a use for sandcastles, here it is. Build them, glue them, put them in office.

I had an office before all this. Now I just have a cupboard under the stairs. They don’t lead anywhere, but they’re useful for storing a cupboard under. The sockets are close by but the keyboard’s just out of reach. Just my luck. I learnt to play the keyboard in school, but it’s use has been extended to typing on a computer now. I wish I’d thought of it first, like those spoons that children can’t choke on. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that?

Other inventions that I would have thought of if born in time would include the telephone. I’m never off it, so I’d have to invent it as I could never go without. I’d invent ringtones, too, but would put an age restriction on them. Nobody over seventy. That’ll stop them playing with their phones on buses in their hoodies.

Excitement? I nearly couldn’t stop myself. Every time it came on I burst into flames. Then I burst into tears, which put the flames out. Then I burst into a flame retardant blanket and whisked myself off to A&E. Anne and Eddy weren’t too happy, but at that time of night I wouldn’t be either. I pulled myself together eventually, which made me feel all the more complete.

That was a close one! If they come any closer, I’ll have to move further away. It’s a wonder anyone comes through this way any more, they’ve built a bypass. No, they’ve built two. Now we can bypass the bypass, which makes it much faster to get anywhere. I’m hoping they’ll build something to bypass it all soon, just to increase traffic flow further.

Tangled webs and weaving, a story by Rory Spider. One I must get round to reading. I don’t know the basic plot, but he’s a favourite author of mine. I also like his work on flies. He’s a zip repairman, and a fine one at that. I can’t imagine taking my trousers anywhere else. He does forty hours a week, but he gets paid lunch breaks and has a pension plan. He also gets allowances for sickness, wellness and time off in the loo. All in all he probably works about an hour a week, but he still has time to fit me in. What a guy!

Guys and gals, may I present – Christmas. It’s only been a few months since the last one, but it’s only a few months until the next. Get shopping, buy one of everything for everyone and then buy a back up gift just in case. Christmas lists are off, it turns out we don’t want to insult anyone. Except my friend Patrick Benjamin, he’s a funny looking fella. There, it’s off my chest.

Hair, hair, everywhere, wherever I look I just see hair. Maybe I should sell the wig shop, it wasn’t me in the first place. What is me, if that’s the case? Well, I am. Of this I’m pretty certain.

Time to celebrate as it’s time I was off. I’ve felt on for too long, alas it was never to be. Continuing would just mean putting more words down and they’ve never done anything to me to deserve being put down. How much was Wordsworth? A thousandth of a picture, evidently. For the price of his collection, it must have been a big picture. So well constructed from the reviews I’ve been reading.

Take care, fellow reader, and enjoy this new day. There will be many others, but none much like it.