Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Diary of a Private Detective. Part Three.


There are three main parts of my job. Sleuthing, interrogating and surveillance. Yeah, it'd be snappier if I could think of another word for interrogating that begins with S, but come on, who am I? Some kinda word guy? Forget it. Maybe I should start slapping them while I interrogate, so it'll be 'sleuthing, slapping and surveillance?' Nah, I've already placed my business card order and Vistaprint ain't the kinda guys you want to jerk around.

Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of saying I've been doing some surveillance. On Fat Barry. I've been trying to catch him in the act of leaking secrets to Russia. As soon as I get enough evidence, BAM! I'm reporting him to MI5. Or I'm blackmailing him. Hey, a guy's gotta eat.

9.20 a.m.
Followed Fat Barry to work. Now I'm stalking the supermarket aisles watching him. I'm wearing a disguise (Brian Blessed mask and orange overalls) so as not to draw attention to myself.

9.45 a.m.
Fat Barry is stacking milk cartons. Not even checking the use by date on them either. He doesn't care about us ingesting spoiled dairy. The commie bastard.

11 a.m.
He's gone for a cigarette break and is on the phone. Sounds like it's Candy.

11.05 a.m.
FAT BARRY: I can't wait to see you again, baby . . . Scatino's at 8 . . . Lovely. See you then.

Scatino's at 8. I'm going to be there.

8 p.m.
I'm at Scatino's.

8.15 p.m.
Fat Barry arrives first and orders bread and olives. That guy boils my potatoes. He hates our capitalist society but will eat our decadent olives. I'm so tore up I get lasagne down my Blessed beard.

8.30 p.m.
Candy showed up soon after. If I wasn't so sure these two were just spies bent on destroying Western civilisation, I'd be wondering what the hell she sees in him.

8.35 p.m.
She's reached over and held his hand. She must be passing him a secret note. Time to pounce.

9.30 p.m
'Having a nice evening, COMRADES?' I said as I sat at their table.
'What the hell, Brian Blessed?' said Fat Barry.
I took my mask off. You should have seen the look he gave me.
'Who are you?' said Candy.
She must have face blindness or something. Must be hard when you're a spy.
'Ben Davis - private detective,' I said.
She looked confused. 'Oh, you're the shoe guy.'
I rubbed my eyes. 'Yeah, I'm the shoe guy.'
'What do you want?' said Fat Barry.
'Nothing,' I said, making myself comfortable. 'Just thought I'd share some secrets with you.'
'What kind of secrets?' said Fat Barry. 'And can you take your feet off the table, please?'
I changed positions and took out my pad. I'd written, 'Pad of Secrets' on it to make it extra convincing.
I cleared my throat and rattled them off:

  • The government are planning on taxing chickens. For every dozen eggs they lay, HMRC will take one. The eggs will be used to make a giant omelette for the Prime Minister.
  • The button that launches all our nukes is actually hidden in the self checkouts at ASDA.
  • To join the SAS, you have to have a scrambled face and a deep voice.
  • Britain is planning on giving Gibraltar to Argentina, the Falklands to Spain and Northern Ireland to the winner of a phone-in.
'Why are you telling us all this?' said Fat Barry. 
'Just thought I'd help you with your cause,' I said. 'If you know what I mean?'
Fat Barry stared at me.  He knew I was on to him. Then, he called the waiter and had him kick me out. As he was shoving me, I noticed his name tag. VLADIMIR.

We're through the looking glass, here. 

Also, they threw me out before I could pay, so you know, there's that.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Diary of a Private Detective. Part Two.


There was something about the way Fat Barry was acting that rubbed me up the wrong way. How he kept smiling and laughing. How he was always looking over at the bush outside the restaurant where I was hiding. 

Yeah, that's right, I was sleuthing. I'm at my happiest when I sleuth. I get it from my Grandpa. He was a master sleuth. By trade, he was a milkman, but he used to sleuth in his spare time. He only stopped when my Grandma discovered him sleuthing through a skylight in the ladies' dressing room at the gym. I still miss the old crank. He was a proud guy right 'til the end. Fact is, he was so proud that he got on the wrong bus one day, but wouldn't admit his mistake and stayed on it for the rest of his life. In a way, I admired his moxy, but in another way, I kinda wish he hadn't blown all my inheritance on fares.

Anyway, back to the bush. This restaurant was a fancy place. I had no idea Fat Barry had the scratch to take a broad to a Sizzlin' pub. From what I can make out, they didn't even order from the 241 menu. I made a mental note to forget about paying him back that ten bucks I owe him. Guy's so flush he don't need it.

I watched through the window and tried to figure out what Candy and Fat Barry were saying. I had to use all the skills I gained at the Nobby Decker Academy of Lip Reading. Here's a choice snippet:

CANDY: I wash filthy turnips.

FAT BARRY: Jason Orange is my homeboy.

I scratched my chin, which was a bad idea 'cause I'd just accidentally dipped my finger in a dog dook. Relax, It ain't the first time life has dealt me a crappy hand. 

I wondered what the hell they were talking about. It just sounded like a load of nonsense to me.

CANDY: Catflaps are so in right now.

FAT BARRY: My doctor recommended kicking sparrows to cure my sinusitis.

Then it came to me. It hit me like a rotten egg messing up my window on Halloween. They were spies! Russian spies! How else could you explain it?

Attractive woman being seen with Fat Barry.

They speak in code.

Fat Barry is really secretive. Like, this once, he wouldn't even tell me his account number, sort code and mother's maiden name. Even though we are 'best friends.'

That settled it. No further investigation needed. Fat Barry is working for Mother Russia. He's probably trying to find out official secrets to send back to Stalin or whoever the hell in charge there these days. No way. I'm telling him nothing. Nah, I won't tell him nothing. I've got a better idea.

You know what, my hand still stinks. That hand sanitizer I bought from the deaf kid at the grocery store sucks. 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Diary of a Private Detective


History is dominated by ‘ifs’. If Archduke Franz Ferdinand had taken a different route home one afternoon, World War One wouldn’t have happened. If Alexander Fleming wasn’t a bit blasé about doing the dishes, there would be no penicillin. And if my mother hadn’t put my best white shirt in with her red slacks, the kids at school wouldn’t have called me ‘Pinky’. Life ain’t nothing but a crap shoot.

It was by chance that a little twinky by the name of Candy Gable shimmied into my office this morning. Straight away, I knew this piece was bad news. I hadn't seen legs that long since I took that summer job as a giraffe podiatrist.

'Oh, I'm sorry,' she said. 'I thought this was the shoe cobbler's.'

'It is, toots,' I said. 'I'll cobble your shoes, cut your keys, and, what the hell, I'll find someone who don't want to be found, you understand?'

She looked confused. 'So, can you fix my stiletto or not?'

I adjusted my fedora. Let me tell you, hat-wearing is no picnic when you got a head as big as mine. 'Sure thing.'

She leaned over my desk and placed the shoe down. 'The name's Gable,' she said. 'Candy Gable.'

'You name your shoes?' I said.

'My name is Candy Gable.'

So this chick named shoes after herself. I made a mental note to name my favourite shoe after myself as soon as I got home. You've got to keep up with trends.

'I should have this done for you by tomorrow,' I said.

I'm lying through my teeth. I got no clue about cobbling shoes, I just forgot to take the sign down when I moved into the office. There was something about this chick, though.

'Look, I hate to be cheeky, but could you deliver this to my house?' She ran her hand through her blonde hair.

Now, I didn't roll outta my ma yesterday. I know when a chick is giving me the come-on. Just the other day, I could tell this broad was putting the make on me - the way she flicked her hair, the way she arched her back, the way she pepper-sprayed me - it's all subtle-like.

I took down her address and tried to stop my hand from shaking. I never get this way about a girl, but most girls ain't Candy Gable.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to fix her shoe. In the end, I just tied a bunch of biros to it. It wasn't pretty, but it did the job. Kinda like me.


I spent all day getting ready to deliver the shoe. I even took a bath. I never take baths. I normally use the tub for storing old copies of Private Dick Weekly. That never has me in it, either. Oh no, but Joey Saccamoni got in just for reuniting a guy with his ma. Word on the street is the old gal was so senile, she just forgot where he lived.

I knew I had to be smelling fresh for this chick, so I stopped off at the grocery store for some mints and some menthol smokes.

'And throw me in some of that cologne will ya?' I said to the square behind the counter.

'But sir, this is my ear medicine,' he stuttered.

'What the hell, kid? Did I ask for your life story? Just put it in the god damn bag so I can get on my way.'

Candy lived in a run-down part of town. A guy like me has to watch his back in a place like that. This one time, I went there to investigate a chicken theft. It was all going well to start with, but I was scrabbling across the rooftops in my skivvies before the night was out.

I kept a hand on my piece the rest of the way there. I should point out that piece means gun. I ain't a pervert. I knocked her door and dabbed some of that kid's ear medicine on my neck.

Now, I'm what you'd call a cool customer. This once a guy jumped off a skyscraper and landed right next to me and I didn't even break my stride. But this time it was different. She looked like a movie star. I mean, yeah, so did my ex-wife, but Groucho Marx ain't exactly every guy's dream.

'Ma-ma-ma,' I stuttered like Scatman John in a tumble dryer.

'You're the shoe guy, right?' she said.

'S-sure am, hon,' I said. 'Can I come in?'

She looked puzzled for a second, then nodded. The old charm working.

Inside, her place was interesting. Shaggy sheep, I think they call it. Or Shabby chic. Whatever. Do I look like Jim Llewellyn Bowen, for crying out loud?

'You want me to take my shoes off, doll?' I said.


I kicked them off and left them in the corner. 'You stay there, Ben,' I said.

'What did you say?' said Candy.

'Just named my favourite shoe,' I said. 'Like you.'

She looked confused and shrugged. 'So, did you bring, um, Candy?'

I pulled the stiletto out of the bag.

'Whaddaya think?' I handed it to her. 'The biros make it look kinda classy, right?'

She looked at it with what I thought was amazement and wonder.

'Naturally, no charge,' I said.

She kinda smiled and threw the shoe into a cupboard.

'Ain't ya gonna try it on?' I said.

'Um, not right now,' she said. 'Anyway, my date will be here any second, so . . .'

Date? What the hell? If I'd have known she was seeing some other schnook I wouldn't have made the effort.

Now, I'm a persistent man. I was kicked out of the Jehova's Witnesses for my so-called 'aggressive' tactics, but I know when I'm beat. So I put Ben and Ben 2 back on and headed for the door. When I opened it, I was stunned. And I'm not a man who's easily stunned, as the officer pursuing me with a Taser that time will attest. But the sight that greeted me at that chick's door turned my stomach like so much chicken jalfrezi.

'Fat Barry?' I said.

'What are you doing here?' he said.

'I could ask you the same question, short stack.'

'I'm here for my date with Candy,' he said. 'And why are you talking like that?'

'It's my Private Dick voice,' I said.

'Well, it sounds like you're having a stroke,' he said.

Candy came out behind me and gave Fat Barry a hug. 'It's great to see you, Barry,' she said.

Something ain't right here. Fat Barry shouldn't be scoring with broads as smoking as that. I have to find out what his secret is. I have to use all the knowledge I gained at the Bob O'Flaherty One Day Private Investigation Super Course.

Looks like things are about to get interesting.

Monday, 18 November 2013

My new career

So I've decided to start a new career. Don't get me wrong, being a writer is fun. It's an exciting lifestyle. It's all parties*, drugs** and loose women***.

* Tupperware
** Lemsip
*** The ITV chat show.

But it doesn't make me feel like a useful member of society. I mean, if a cat gets stuck up a tree, the owners don't call a writer, do they?

If my words could build a ladder . . . Ah balls to it, pass me a rock.

Anyway, my quest to become a pillar of the community hasn't been easy. First, I tried to become a freelance fire fighter. This didn't go well. The head fire guy was kind of annoyed with me. He was all, 'you're not properly trained,' and 'you're going to kill someone' and 'a Supersoaker is not a recognised piece of fire fighting equipment.'

I've had it up to HERE with your "roo-ules!"

And my career as an entrepreneur was equally short-lived.

One day the world will be ready for the pumpkin hat. One day.

Then one afternoon, when I was watching Magnum PI and picking my belly button fluff, I had a brain wave. It was his face that did it. That rugged face.

If you're not on birth control, chances are you're now pregnant.

As soon as I saw him, I knew I had it! I was going to become a moustache comb salesman! Then, when that didn't work out, I realised what epiphany I was supposed to have had in the first place:

I was going to become a private detective!

I rented an office, I bought a hat and I took up smoking. All I needed was clients. Stay tuned for what happened next.

How's about THAT for a cliffhanger?

Monday, 12 August 2013

Music 4, 5 and 6!

Yes, that's right. More tunes from the Tunemeister General. You know, I think I could have been a DJ. One of those big time guys like Pete Thong or Slatboy Thin.

ANYWAY. Let's do this.


KEY LYRIC: "I'm useless but not for long."


KEY LYRIC: "Who'd fall in love with a chicken with its head cut off?"


KEY LYRIC: "If you hadn't noticed yet, we're the prettiest girls you've ever met."

Yeah, they sure thought a lot of themselves.

Monday, 5 August 2013

My Diary Part 2

Monday 5th August
9.30 a.m.
Spent two hours making a small explosive device that sends tiddlywinks flying everywhere. Why, you ask? Well, I've got a really good gag for when it goes off.

12 p.m.
Planted the device outside my so-called best friend, Fat Barry's front door. He's bound to be FUMING when that thing goes off. He'll be picking winks out of his geraniums for weeks. 
He loves his garden. This once, I said, 'Hey, Fat Barry, if you love your garden that much, why don't you like, marry it, or something?' I didn't expect him to actually do it. Have you ever tried making a best man's speech when the bride is a garden?

Doesn't she look lovely, ladies and gents?

1 p.m.
Got fed up of waiting for Fat Barry to arrive, so I went home. Started working on my inventions. My latest one I like to call, 'the paintbrush on a long stick.'

Next stop - Dragons' Den!

1.30 p.m.
Bob from the offy called, wanting to know when I was going to pay my magazine bill. I told him I refused to pay because I'd been subscribing to Better Homes and Gardens for five years, and my house still looks like crap. Bob responded by saying he's going to punch me in the stomach when he sees me. Yeah well, if this cloak of invisibility I'm working on comes off, he'll never catch me.

So far, I have a cape and some Tipp-Ex.

2 p.m.
Wrote some fan mail. I contacted Justin Bieber, Cheryl Cole and Deirdre from Corrie. Surely, at least one of them will send me some money. I mean, Deirdre has to be minted. Look at the tan on her.

Probably best to ignore the bloke on the right.

3 p.m.
Fat Barry called.

FAT BARRY: What's that box on my doorstep?
ME: Dunno.
FAT BARRY: You're lying.
ME: No I'm not.
FAT BARRY: Yeah you are. I can tell when you're lying, because you do your Foghorn Leghorn voice.
ME: Damn it, ah say, damn it.
FAT BARRY: So what is it?
ME: Nothing. Just leave it where it is, I'll come over and explain.

4 p.m.
Put the detonator in my jacket pocket and started walking over to Fat Barry's. I was nearly there when Bob from the offy caught me.
'Oi!' he yelled.
'That's just a cape with paint on it!' he said.
'That's where you're wrong. Bob. This is Tipp-Ex,' I said.
'A box of Tipp-Ex went missing from my shop last week,' he said. 'I suppose that was you, wasn't it?'
'Hey, we all make mistakes,' I said. 'And I know a good way of correcting them.'
Bob shook his head and punched me right in the stomach. It didn't even hurt.
'HA HA HA! Your assaults are useless against me!'
Bob shook his hand. 'What the bloody hell have you got in your pocket?'
I turned and ran to Fat Barry's house, but it was too late. The device had exploded. There were tiddlies and winks all over the garden. As predicted, Fat Barry was furious.
'Hey, Fat Barry,' I said. 'I now work in counter terroris-'

I didn't get to say 'm' because he'd punched me in the face. That's what happens when you mess with a guy's wife, I suppose.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Music 3

For the third instalment of my 'Ben shares his abominable musical tastes with the world', I have chosen 'Loser' by Beck.

"I'm a driver, I'm a winner. Things are going to change, I can feel it."

Monday, 22 July 2013

My Diary

So, I’ve decided to try and keep a diary, a bit like Joe does in my book (the Private Blog of Joe Cowley, available to pre-order here if you’re willing to wait nine months) The only problem with this is, I have a really boring life. I mean, look at this:

Monday 15th July
10 a.m.
Eating some biscuits. Think they might be a bit stale.

10.10 a.m.
No, they’re OK.

But today has actually been reasonably eventful, so I’ve got a bit of a second wind. Here we go:

Monday 22nd July
9 a.m.
Just been outside, sweeping leaves. This was much easier when they weren’t still attached to the tree.
Neighbour still not talking to me for some reason. And to think, I was about invite him to my next trombone night.

10.20 a.m.
Visited my so-called best friend, Fat Barry. He’s writing a list of possible Royal baby names.  He’s really into that kind of thing. He owns a Camilla Parker-Bowles tea set and everything. I’ve lost count of the amount of burned crumpets I’ve eaten off her face.
After a bit, he started getting all huffy with me so I left. He’s like a broken record, ‘They can’t call the royal baby Prop Joe, don’t be daft, blah, blah, blah.’

12 p.m.
Went to the supermarket. Did a bit of flirting with the attractive lady on the checkout. I like to think of myself as a body language expert, and the way she kept avoiding eye contact, tutting and calling security over the tannoy was pretty thrilling.

1.30 p.m.
Put my glasses on next door’s cat for a laugh, but then it climbed a tree and refused to come down. I was going to tempt it down with some fish, but I didn’t have any in the house, and I don’t think it’s falling for the fake one I made out of sugar paper.

2 p.m.
I was going to put some milk in a saucer to try and get it but it turned out I forgot to buy milk from the shop. Sneaked into the dairy farm down the road and squeezed a bucket full of milk from the first cow I could find.

2.05 p.m.
This milk tastes funny.

2.10 p.m.
Called the farmer to complain about his lousy milk. He said, ‘One: if I catch you trespassing on my land again, I’ll kill ya, and two: I don’t keep cows on my farm. Only donkeys.’

2.15 p.m.

2.40 p.m.
Still vomiting.

2.45 p.m.
Stopped vomiting.

2.50 p.m.
False alarm. Still vomiting.

3.05 p.m.
Gone out for some fresh air. Jehova’s Witnesses saw me and crossed the road. Last time they came, I kept them talking for three hours. Sometimes I get lonely.

3.10 p.m.
Had another quick vomit.

3.15 p.m.
Lost a staring contest against my dog. Shouted, ‘You win this round, Terry.’ Didn’t even blink. Sometimes I think this game would be more fun if Terry wasn’t a toy I won out of a grabber machine.

5 p.m.
Caught up with some friends. They’ll never outrun me.

5.10 p.m.
My so-called best friend Fat Barry came over and apologised for being rude earlier. I let him in and made him a cup of tea. A milky cup of tea.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Private Blog of Joe Cowley

Right. Here we go.

So here's the thing. I've decided to write a new blog post. About my book. It's called the Private Blog of Joe Cowley. So this is a blog about a book about a blog.

I know, right?

I'm as surprised as anyone that I managed to write a book. I mean, I normally have loads of important stuff going on. Like the time when I couldn't find any bottles of Coke with my name on, so I had to improvise.

This was an hour well spent.

But I've managed it and it's actually being published and everything! Now, I've always wanted to write for teenagers, because to me, it is the funniest period of your life.

Yeah, ha ha HA. Knobhead.

Of course, it doesn't feel like it at the time, and that's kind of what makes it so funny. It's a time when you're trying to figure out who you are and where you belong in the food chain of the jungle that is high school. A time of firsts and big emotions that can lead to rash decisions and embarrassing situations.

Not only did I buy this, I also bought Mambos 1-4.

Joe Cowley isn't happy with his place in the food chain. He's fourteen, nearly fifteen and is fed up of being the butt of every joke, being picked on by idiots like Gav James, being a kiss virgin and being useless at talking to girls. I should point out at this juncture that he is in no way based on me when I was that age.

Ladies . . .

I was actually quite the stud. I seem to remember girls in my year calling me 'the Shark.' Because I was deadly. And also, if you punched me on the nose, it usually made me go away.

And I stunk of fish.

By the way, in case you were wondering why that picture of me looked familiar . . .

There we go.

Anyway, Joe wants nothing more than to climb the social ladder and become more respected. But to do that, he has to become a completely different person. This is not going to easy. Firstly because he is NOT COOL in any way. He's not interested in football or modern music, and he's obsessed with Batman comics and Star Trek. Again, completely unlike me. I am not into these things.

Not at all.

Not even a little bit.

The second obstacle Joe faces is his inability to control what he says. This is a problem I was afflicted with when I was a teenager, back in the olden days.

We used these things, you know. Sometimes we even rewound them with a pencil! Kids these days don't know they're born.

My problem was, I could never find the right words when I needed them. I remember there was this girl I really fancied, but I was too shy to say anything. One day, we were talking and she said to me, 'You know, I'd like to go out with someone nice like you.'

And who could blame her?

Of course, I didn't know what to say to that, so I panicked and said, 'WELL GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!' and just walked off.


Joe is even worse than I was. He blurts out things that get him nowhere with girls and deep into trouble with bullies. He can't help it.

Like the time when he's apologising to Louise Bentley for puking on her at the fair.

He's a real catch.*

His explanation for the vomiting?
"It may have been the dodgy hot dog I ate, or all that candy floss. Who knows, it may have been the idea of kissing you for the first time."

Cain can't stand to watch your failure and he's the bloke that invented murder.

Even if Joe can get over his various afflictions, there is something big looming on the horizon. Something that will see his school problems and home problems collide in a way that will change his life forever. 

The important thing is, he doesn't overreact.

The Private Blog of Joe Cowley is out in April 2014 with Oxford University Press. More info can be found here.

* Joe Cowley illustration by Mike Lowery - www.argyleacademy.com

Monday, 15 April 2013

Music! 2!


The next song or "track", to use the vernacular of today's popular music, is a 1998 hit by popular US rap combo, the Beastie Boys.

Everything about this "track" and its video is special, particularly the line 'I LIKE MY SUGAR WITH COFFEE AND CREAM." I also quite enjoy the giant space octopus.

Cordon Bleurgh

Had one of those Rustler's burgers for lunch. I may have left it the microwave for too long, but in fairness, cooking instructions are hard to read when you're sobbing.

Monday, 8 April 2013


You know, many people stop me in the street, and right after telling me that they don't want me to wash their car, they ask what inspires me to write. My answer is always the same: music. Whenever I write stories for teens, I listen to the records (yeah, that's right, I said records) that take me back to my adolescence. So in that spirit, I have decided to share with you, my blog reader(s) my terrible taste in music.

Here's the first one, Frontier Psychiatrist by the Avalanches:

Because some birds are funny when they talk.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Happy Birthday to me

Well, it was my 27th birthday recently. I know, I'm shocked, too. I mean, just the other day, I was asked for ID in ASDA. But in fairness, I had no business being in the cash office.

When you get to my age, you begin to see birthdays for what they really are; a celebration of the fact that you happened to have been born on this particular day a while ago, and haven't died in the meantime. Having said that, it's always nice to get presents, so I thought I'd share this year's haul with you.

From my wife: South Park cupcakes!

As I say, 27 years old.

What's best about these is no matter how many times you eat the Kenny cake, it keeps coming back! HAAAA HA HA HA HAAAA!

From my parents:  A bottle of sambuca.

Not to scale.

For anyone who doesn't know what sambuca is, it's a tasty liquid that, when consumed in large quantities, can make you run down the street in nothing but your tighty-whiteys singing 'Tomorrow' from the hit stage musical Annie.
NB: If anyone who lives in my area sees me doing this in the near future, it's probably best not to approach me, as I may be dangerous.

From my sister: Justin Bieber's Greatest Hits.

I don't care what anyone says, there is nothing punchable about that face. Nothing.

Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love the Bieb. I'm a Belieber and I couldn't lieb her if I tried. So, naturally, when I unwrapped Bieber's Greatest Hits on my birthday, I was so excited, I ran outside and accidentally kicked my so-called best friend Fat Barry's Mondeo.
I can't believe I finally have all of Bieb's hits on one album. It really is a dream come true. But don't take my word for it, here's the tracklisting:

1. Baby, baby, baby, oh!
2. Baby, baby, baby, oh! (Techno remix)
3. Bebe, bebe, bebe, aye! (Spanish version)
4. Bambino, bambino, bambino, ohhhhhhh! (Italian version)
5. That Christmas song he did.
6. That Christmas song he did with Mariah Carey, You know, the one with the video where she acts like an embarrassing aunt at a wedding?
7. Baby, baby, baby, oh! (Karaoke version)
8. I really want you to be my girlfriend.
9. I don't want you to be my girlfriend any more.
10. Baby, baby, baby, oh, eight hundred, double oh, ten sixty six. (Hastings Direct remix)
11, That other Christmas song he did. Was it called Biebing around the Christmas tree?
12. I know I said I didn't want you to be my girlfriend before, but now I've changed my mind.
13. You waited two hours to watch me mime this.
14. Baby, baby, baby oh! (Acoustic)
15. That song he did with Pitbull. I presume he has done a song with Pitbull. I mean, everyone else has, haven't they?
16. Baby, baby, baby, oh, oh, oh, atchoo! (Justin has a cold remix)
17. That other Christmas song he did.

Not a weak track among them.

From my so-called best friend fat Barry: Nothing.

This is what nothing looks like.

Well, I say nothing, but it might as well be. It was just a stinking photo album, with pictures of the two of us in it, right from when we were kids. That must have cost him hardly anything. What a rubbish present. Of course, I didn't say this to his face, but the loud raspberry I blew when I unwrapped it may have subtly hinted at my true feelings.

So that's it for another year. I'm off to eat cupcakes, drink sambuca and listen to the best music ever made. See you around, Beliebers!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Idea for a story

A man is born with a unique special power.

Everything he touches turns to cheese!

He decides to use his ability to his advantage, and becomes the CEO of a multi-billion dollar cheese manufacturing company. Eventually, he falls in love and marries the woman of his dreams.
Sadly, when the ceremony is over and he kisses his bride, she turns into Gouda. On the bright side, nobody goes hungry at the reception.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Today's to-do list

1. Buy variety pack of cereal.

2. Taste each cereal and rate out of ten.

3. Collate data on graph and check for correlation between high rankings and sugar content.

4. Weep.

5. Try and write new chapter of novel, resolve problem of whether Billy should use his pet shark for good or evil.

6. Weep again.

7. Wait for the postman to arrive. When he does, say, 'They're not bills, are they?' and laugh. If he says no, but it turns out they are, chase him down the road screaming 'LIAR!'

8. Call my so-called best friend Fat Barry and make sure he's at work.

9. Go to my so-called best friend Fat Barry's house and use my new extremely long-handled fork (8ft) to steal sausages from his kitchen work top. If window isn't open, buy sausages.

10. Eat sausages. If they do not meet my standards, write letter of complaint to supermarket if bought from there, or Fat Barry if stolen from there.

11. Use extremely long-handled fork to retrieve remote control from under sofa.

12. Watch Question Time and clap every time someone makes a good point.

13. Rue the day I installed a clap operated lighting system.

14. Tell all my Facebook friends that I'm at a party with loads of supermodels in Milan. When my so-called best friend Fat Barry says, 'No you're not, because I can see your living room lights going on and off,' say, 'Me no speaka de English,' and log off quickly.

15. Go to bed and count sheep.

16. Rethink business plan of starting a wool farm in my bedroom.

17. Sleep. Try to dream about sexy ladies and/or possible lottery numbers. Not dragons.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The worst day ever

Today has been the worst day ever. Not of all time; it's not worse than 9/11 or anything like that, but it's definitely a personal worst.

Reasons why today was the worst day ever

1. I got out of the wrong side of the bed. That might not sound so bad, but that side is where I keep my mousetraps.

2. My so-called best friend Fat Barry kicked my snowman over. When I asked why he was all, 'Blah, blah, blah, you need to grow up. Blah, blah, blah, take some responsibility. Blah, blah, blah, you shouldn't have built it in my kitchen.' Whatever. Geek.

3. I went to a fancy restaurant and had to send my filet mignon back because it was undercooked. Alright, I went to a Wetherspoons and had to send my mixed grill back because the sausage was mouldy. Alright, alright, I took my Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle back to the offy because I found a mouse's head in it. Happy now?

5. I accidentally swallowed the number four key from my keyboard.

6. I told my doctor about the above and he told me I'd need to check my poo for it. Then he said, 'Normally you get number twos coming out of there, not number fours,' and then laughed like he was some kind of comedy genius. When I left the surgery, I could hear him repeating the gag to his receptionists. Whatever happened to confidentiality?

7. I was doing the ironing and the phone rang and I almost put the iron to my ear. Luckily, I didn't, but when I answered the phone, it was someone calling me rude names. I bet it was my so-called best friend Fat Barry.

8. While I was toilet-papering my so-called best friend Fat Barry's house in retaliation, I fell and dislocated my face.

9. I applied to join a modelling agency, and they've just got back to me saying that based on my headshots, I'd make a great bum model.

10. I got Pancake day and Valentine's Day mixed up, so now tomorrow, Scarlett Johansson is going to open an envelope of milk, flour and eggs.

11. I ate loads of prunes to get rid of number four. It worked, but now my keyboard smells really bad and the number four has stopped functioning altogether. In retrospect, I probably should have wiped it first, but I used the last of my toilet paper on my so-called best friend Fat Barry's house.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Why I should be the new Pope by Ben Davis, aged 26

Dear Vatican,

How's it going? I know you must be busy, what with the Pope announcing he's resigning, and I can totally understand that. But now might be the perfect opportunity for you to have a bit of fun. I mean, I remember when I worked at McDonalds and our manager quit, I went crazy! I found the drawer where they kept the stars and awarded myself a thousand, someone asked for a plain burger, so I stuck some wings on it, and I sang Meatloaf songs into the ordering system at the drive thru. That was until my so-called best friend Fat Barry grassed me up to Head Office and got me sacked, just because he wanted to be promoted to Saturday Team Leader.

'Yes, you are a powerful man now, Fat Barry, but at what cost?' I used to shout at him over the ordering system at the drive thru every Saturday. And he'd be all like, 'What have I told you about using the ordering system for illegitimate purposes? And anyway, stop calling me Fat Barry, you're fatter than I am now.' And I'd say, 'That's not true, Fat Barry, and anyway, I do have a legitimate purpose, I want a large Big Mac meal with strawberry milkshake and an apple pie.'

What was I saying? Oh yes, I am writing to you to apply for the vacant position of Pope. I have enclosed a list of reasons why I would make a great Pope, along with my phone number and a pack of Love Hearts. Can you get them in Italy? If not, I shall have to have them shipped over. Anyway, the first sweet says, 'Kiss Me, Sexy,' but you don't have to.

Reasons Why I Should be Pope

To show my so-called best friend Fat Barry that I do look good in a hat, even though he says my head's too big.

2. The last Pope's name was Benedict, my name is Ben. You won't even have to change his letterheads. Just cross out 'edict.' But once I'm in power, don't cross out my edicts.

3. I will use my Papal Infallibility only for good. For example, whilst playing Scrabble with my so-called best friend Fat Barry and he's trying to say that 'Bumwidget' isn't a word, and I'll be all like, 'Check the hat, Fat Barry, I'm Pope and I can't be wrong.' I also may use it to play and win the TV game show Pointless.

4. I'm not afraid to change things. You see, I'm not being funny, but some of your stuff is a bit wacky. Especially all that 'every sperm is a human life' stuff. Many young lads have gone to bed, dreamt about Scarlett Johansson and woke up to discover they've committed genocide in their pyjamas. You can't expect them to live with such guilt.
Also, I would let people wear condoms. I would even go back in time and give condoms to the parents of my so-called best friend Fat Barry.

5. I would be a 21st Century Pope. For example, instead of rasping on and on about God and that in about fifteen different languages, I'd ride up the aisle on a skateboard, execute a wicked grind off the font, then talk for about ten minutes about how kick-ass the latest series of Breaking Bad is, before leaving on a jet pack. Translations will then be read by a troupe of multilingual trampolining clowns.
This may all sound very radical to you, but don't forget, change is good, and I'm sure you appreciate that. Unlike my so-called best friend Fat Barry who got all whiny, just because I wrapped all his possessions in tin foil.

So that's that. I look forward to hearing from you ASAP.

Your pal,


P.S. If you can't manage this, can you at least get Jesus to write my so-called best friend Fat Barry a letter, saying how disappointed he is in him? Cheers.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Some facts about me

One of my favourite things to do is to make lists. I make to-do lists every single day, even if I have only one thing to do. And that thing is to make a list.

Anyway, as this is a new blog, I thought a good first list would be one where you get to learn some stuff about me, so here it is:

  1. I am a man.
  2. When I was a kid I got Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards's autograph. He drew a picture of a bloke skiing down a mountain. I lost it shortly afterwards.
  3. I know the Bull Boys shoes commercial from 1996 off by heart.
  4. I can sense trifle within a 500 yard radius.
  5. I once watched an entire episode of Take Me Out thinking it was a Deal or no Deal thicko's special.
  6. If you say my name into your bathroom mirror three times I will climb through it and steal your fancy soap.
  7. I was once bitten by a radioactive duck. The only superpower I got was a craving to lie in the bath and eat bread.
  8. The last time I played Tig was on the last day of primary school. When the bell rang for the end of the day, I was still on. Nobody has come within arms reach of me for sixteen years.
  10. I have an irrational fear of the number nine.
  11. I may have made some of these facts up.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


So here's the thing. I'm a writer. Now you're probably thinking, 'What gives him the right to call himself that?' And my reply is simple: how are you receiving this information right now? You're reading it, aren't you? And these words have been written down by me. Ergo, I'm a writer.

And as a writer, the main question I get asked (other than 'what are you doing, going through my bins?') is 'how do you write?' Well, dear reader, I'm going to answer that for you, and by following these simple instructions, you can become as good a writer as what I am.

Step 1 - Sit down

This is very important. If you do insist on ignoring this step, then I am obliged to warn you that you run the risk of back and wrist problems. 
Now, you may be thinking, 'Yeah, it's alright for you, Mr Moneybags, with all your chairs, but what about me?' Well, sitting down is not as expensive as you might think. If you don't own any chairs, simply sit on the ground. Other cheap chair alternatives include milk crates, tree stumps or your partner/spouse.

Hey! Get off your phone and start writing!

Step 2 - Find something to write on

Are you sitting down? Good. Step 2 is arguably more important than Step 1, because even though you may have all kinds of incredible ideas buzzing around your brain, what good are they if you have nothing to write them down on?
Ideally, you will need a laptop computer. It doesn't have to be state-of-the-art like mine (pictured below) but it should have a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, Open Office or Caxton.  

I've just got it hooked up to the interweb.
If you can't afford a computer, then a pen and paper will do. I would urge you to buy a pack of ten Bic biros, and at least a ream of paper, as research suggests that most bestselling novels are longer than ten pages.

Step 3 - Increase your WORD POWER

Everybody knows that a book is only any good if it has loads of words in it that you don't understand. This shows that the author has WORD POWER, and a far superior brain to you.
But they weren't born that way, they had to work at it. I myself read the Oxford English Dictionary from cover to cover at least once a week, which means that my WORD POWER is now really . . . proper . . . good.
If you can't afford a dictionary and are banned from your local library, then simply start watching Countdown

I never miss it.

Step 4 - Think of something to write about

Inspiration may strike at any time so always carry a notebook. If you cannot afford a notebook, the back of your hand and/or the forehead of a friend or relative will suffice.
Struggling to come up with an idea? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. In these situations, a good exercise is to take an existing story and give it a little twist to make it your own. For example, I wrote a series of novels about a plucky little lizard that was actually based on other books that don't have lizards in them. But it was enough of a twist to make it completely unique, and I'm happy to say that the following books are now available online:

  • Larry Lizard and the Philosopher's Stone
  • Larry Lizard and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Larry Lizard and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Larry Lizard and the Goblet of Fire
  • Larry Lizard and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Larry Lizard and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Larry Lizard and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two
  • Fifty Shades of Larry Lizard

See? Completely unique.

Step 5 - Write it all down

This is the easy bit. Don't bother planning anything, just stick it on paper. A character's name changes from Bill to Lucy in between chapters thirty and forty? Forget it, he could have had a sex change. Spelling mistakes? That's what the spellcheck is for. NB: If you are writing with pen and paper and thus don't have spellcheck, simply draw a paperclip on each page to create the illusion.
When you're finished, write THE END, otherwise the reader won't know where the rest of the book is and is liable to become confused and start digging at the table beneath the book thinking the answer is hidden there. And it almost never is.

Step 6 - Get it published

Have you finished? Good, you're ready to start sending that bad boy out to publishers.
Firstly, make photocopies of your story so you can send it to loads at the same time. If you cannot locate a photocopier, simply write your novel in fountain pen and press the page against another when it is done to create an impression.
Naturally, every publisher in the world is going to be champing at the bit to get your book, so your letter to them should reflect your confidence. Here is the letter I used when sending out my latest novel, Girl with the Larry Lizard Tattoo,

Yo, mush,

I've wanged a copy of my book in this envelope. Read it and get back to me soon as, yeah, cos I'm a busy man.



I only sent that last week and I've already heard back from one big publisher. Incidentally, does anyone know what 'restraining order' means?

Step 7 - Bask in glory

So now you're a bestselling novelist. Enjoy. You've earned it. 

You, earlier.

Now, you couldn't have done it without these tips, could you? So I want my cut. Twenty per cent, plus vig. And don't keep me waiting, 'cause I'm an impatient man, capische?

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, then don't hesitate to get in touch. I charge £25 per question, or five for £90, which is a pretty good deal.

Happy writing!