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Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Two Unusual Things That Happened Today...

Firstly, this morning, on the way to work, just by Blow Up (not, unfortunately as interesting an emporium as it sounds - they're a Reprographics firm...) I see, dried up and slightly shrivelled, two frogs conjoined. The smaller (I'm guessing) male sits in mid-hump atop the larger (presumably) female (although, it would be folly to rule out an accomodating and like-minded fellow male of the species, given the unusual nature of their whole flagrante delicto situation) - unless, of course, he's trying quite literally in this case to leapfrog his partner (or not, as the case may be) in order to escape whatever instant and ferocious drying agent has frozen them in their apparent union like this.

I'm reminded of the Martin Amis story I read over the weekend. Straight Fiction is set in a parallel-universe New York City in which to be gay is the norm. The marginalised and barely tolerated straights live in their crowded, child-infested Christopher Street ghetto. To cut to the chase, there's a comic diversion which cites an article in the NYT concerning tests on insects that have been conducted to find out more about 'the straight gene'. "Ahh, they're even called fruit flies.." sighs the gay protagonist, Cleve...

Then, later, at work as I pretend to be doing something vaguely constructive with a trolley-full of books, Michelle accosts me. How to describe Michelle? About 5' 11'', long floral skirt, sandally shoes, blouse, ear-rings, long ash-blonde wig, fully made up face - pancake, rouge, lippy, maybe-it's Maybeline lashes, the works - that if it had to be that of any celebrity lookalikey, living or dead, would not be a disgraceful simulacrum for comedy legend Bernie Winters. "Got you doing a jigsaw puzzle have they young man?" she asks of me - as I sprawl like a retard among a tottering pile of play bricks - in that husky baritone of hers that makes no pretence whatsoever to belong to anything other than a man.

How strange.

No one's called me 'young man' for a long time....

L.U.V. on y'all,


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  1. I like that Straight Fiction story; that whole thing about imagine a man and women kissing in public made me laugh.

  2. Hi Billy,

    Yes, it's my favourite in Heavy Water, I think. The Janitor on Mars is very thought-provoking too - he should do more Sci-Fi stuff.

    It's a lot more tender and affectionately rendered a tale than perhaps I've made out - although he does get that very particular, almost autistically gay, Will & Grace-type of campness spot on. I love the names of Cleve's succession of abbreviated boyfriends - Orv, Grainge, Merv etc. and their respective professions - "a talented young macrameist..." and so on. There's also a lovely description of the gym-obsessed Cleve's arms - made puny-looking by the bulk of the rest of his upper body - swinging about like those of a Tyranasaurus...

    Excellent stuff.

    L.U.V. on ya,


  3. Someone who likes kestrels11 April 2007 at 10:42

    Thanks for number 34. That was great and helped me through a particularly bad illness. Cool.

  4. The dessicated frogs thing is weird, though not uncommon. They dehydrate scarily quickly. I've never seen a dried out conjoined pair, but I can almost hear their death croaks:

    "Lube! Shoulda used more lube, dammit (ribbit?)!"

  5. this would be a great opportunity to re-title your blog;
    The Young Man Robert Swipe Show

    it has a ring to it!

  6. I say - young man - sounds like the frogs were in a draught and dried up to quick - or could it have been friction? Or were they siamese twins?

  7. So basically what you're trying to say Bob, is that you got hit on and you saw two frogs who died whilst shagging?

    This must be your most romantic post yet.

  8. Well, you know Ist - Spinny's started reading us again.... never know....

    L.U.V. on ya,


    btw - is it OK to blow the gaffe on your ELP-style Blog supergroup/Big Three Yalta Summit of Pod yet???


  9. Will you still be going to that well known pub in Twickenham (you know, the one that's not too far from that baking factory that backs on to the railway line) towards the end of next week? That Fuzzy Brown gig...

    Are you sure you ought to be attending that?

    Oh, and another thing?
    Are you scared of heights and pit-bulls?

    Just needed to check...

  10. Crikey! I nearly week; remember to wear a pair of quality incontinence pants and also you should bring your passport. They *might* just come in handy when you eventually wake up...


  11. What on earth are you all going on about. Do I need my stungun with me for that gig? Pitbulls? Passport? Ooohhh - a mystery tour?