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June 8th

On this day in 1191,  Richard I who was, among other things, the King of England, arrived in Acre in Palestine and so started his part in the Crusades.

The day Dick took some acid and thought he was a bear

Many of you will know him better as Richard the Lionheart, although if we were going to give him a more accurate epithet for him would be Richard the great big fighty bastard who didn’t care about anything other than having big old fights and killing people, who was a really shit king. This is, admittedly, a slightly long epithet, which is why, despite a lot of effort on my part, he’s still known as the Lionheart and why people who’ve never studied any history at all, but have seen Robin Hood, think he’s all great and lovely and have no idea what an utter twat he really was.

Here are a few nice facts about this lovely king. At his coronation in Westminster, he said that Jews and women were not allowed in because they were shit. When some Jewish people came along to give him presents, he and his men stripped them, beat them and threw them out. This made the people of London, who were notoriously stupid, think that what their king wanted was for them to kill Jews. So they did. There was basically a huge massacre which he eventually told them to stop, not because he cared about the people who’d been killed, but because he wanted to go off and kill Muslims and if everyone at home was killing Jews, then there might be a bit of an upset and someone else might get to be king while he was off getting his jollies being a killer.

How long did he spend in the country that he was king of in total over a ten-year reign? Eight minutes. Well, probably eight months, but he didn’t like it here, didn’t speak much English and thought the only point of being king was taking lots of money from the country so he could go to other countries and kill people.

His brother, King John, you know, the bad guy i6541n all those Robin

A toilet seat in honour of the Lionheart. Just what every king wants. To be shat on.

Hood films, was not necessarily a good king, but he was better than Richard in that at least he bothered to be here and didn’t whinge about it being cold and rainy here all the bloody time.

Anyway, he died of a manky arm on 6th April 1199. He was crying like a baby in his mother’s arms and being all “it’s not fair!” Probably. He did die in his mother’s arms. And that’s Richard I for you. Crusader, shit king, killer of anyone who was a bit Middle Eastern and all round the most over-hyped king in history.

One final note which is true and tickled me a lot. A Bishop of Rochester wrote about him in the 13th century that he spent 33 years in purgatory for being a big old sinner, and then finally got into heaven in March 1232. There’s nice.

Today is the birthday of a few unimportants, but before I go on to one of them, it was also the birthday of my brother Bobby, who once sung about a crooked zebra to a small wee girl. Not me, by the way, as I was his big sister and never heard of the crooked zebra while he was alive.

Moving on. Today is also the birthday of a man who makes it hard

Look away from the horror!

for all other gingers to be taken seriously. Yes, Mick Hucknell was born in 1960, go famous in the early 60s for singing a bit and having curly ginger hair and a very ugly face. He also liked to have as much sex as he could with as many women as possible, which is probably why he got into music, because frankly if he wasn’t famous he’d have been lucky to have managed the sex with even one laydee. He is 52 today and not doing so much of the singing and probably a bit less of the sex as he’s getting on and one imagines his willy is a bit bored and more easily tired these days.

This is what happens when you listen to Mick Hucknall

Some of his songs were okay, but the man is such an unbearable wanker, that it’s hard to like any of them because you know that you’re listening to him and this whole cognitive dissonance thing happens and could lead normally sane people to a moment of self-harm. That said, at least he’s not Bonio off of U2.

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April 7th

This day in history is a most auspicious one, so it pained me to look through the annals and find events that bored me or stuff about fucktards (hello Savonarola) who we’d already covered and quite frankly had enough of.  Anyway, given that nothing can quite compare to an event that happened at 4am in the Royal Free Hospital in Liverpool Road in 1965, I did uncover something that appears to be completely fictitious, but is too wonderful to consign to the dustbin of made-up history.

And then she hit me right here on the nose!

All around the web, it is stated that on this day in 1926, Mussolini’s Irish wife broke his nose. There is no further detail, because, well Mussolini never had an Irish wife. The terrible bald fucker had two wives, both of them Italian, one discarded and all records of their marriage destroyed because he wanted to pretend he’d never been married to her. The second stuck with him until the end. Neither, as far as history shows us, broke his nose. Perhaps the history of WWII might have played out a bit differently if one or both of them had, preferably on a regular basis.

Of course, I am not advocating mindless violence, but given the circumstances I’m sure they could have found a way to break his nose mindfully. It’s a shame that this story is so clearly a fake, because I can picture it all in my head. Benito at the table complaining that his stupid Irish wife hasn’t cooked the spaghetti properly and all she knows her way around is potatoes and cabbage like a stupid bog-trotting peasant. And up she gets. Small in stature but a mighty

Cover your nose, Benny, the bitch is back!

warrior all the same. Her eyes are green and sending out sparks of anger. Benito is too self-satisfied and stupid to sense the danger. Her hair is loose and a symphony of red and gold and orange and copper and rich sweet-smelling ginger. It seems alive as she moves closer toward her target. He still goads her, he holds up his spaghetti in his fork and mocks her like the pompous wee shite he is. And then she is in front of him, finally he feels a little fear. She is still, but her hair still seems to be moving, her eyes still spark and her nostrils flare. He is silent as she stares him straight in the eye. He gulps. And then it comes. Her fist moves as if in slow-motion but he can’t move away from it. He is rooted to the spot as though his wife has become Medusa and he is turned to stone. And. And. And. BAM! Right in the fucking conk. “Shitehawk” she throws over her shoulder as she walks away. His blood mingles with the tomato sauce and he cries quietly with the pain.

Ah, Maureen McMussolini, where were you when we needed you!

Today is and was the birthday of many a great and grand person. And Russell Crowe. Russell Crowe is one year older than me and I am glad he exists because when I am feeling like a haggard old crone, I look at him and say “thank fuck I look better on it than he does.” The truth is, I look about a million times better than the big fighty git who gets all precious when people say “Oh Russell, why did you do an Irish accent for Robin Hood?” Well, Russell, I’ve seen some of that film and you did do an Irish accent, you great fat lummox. I’ve only seen some of it because I was on a plane and it was so shit I fell asleep. Here’s the thing, on the way out, I’d watched Sex and the City 2, which is one of the worst films ever and an abomination to womankind, but I did not fall asleep. That’s how shit Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood was. He stands as a reminder that however great a day April 7th is, some right shitters were born on this day too (see also David Frost).

Billie as a lovely wee girl

But, let’s move on to the sublime, the beautiful, the troubled, the big old skag head with a voice that could tickle your spine in a way that felt slightly obscene: Billie Holiday. She was born 50 years before I happened down onto the earth and had left it before  I  joined it.

Her life was never easy from the start. Born Eleanora Fagan, her thirteen year old mother was thrown out of her parents’ home for being pregnant. Young Billie was looked after by relatives while her mother worked on the trains. She was troubled, played truant and was in a Catholic reform school for this before the age of 10. She was then released into her mother’s custody to live and work in a restaurant she had bought. At the age of 11, Billie was raped and sent back to the reform school to be kept safe while they waited for the trail to come to court.

And then it all went  a bit more downhill. You all know that she and her mother then lived in brothels, that that’s where Billie started to sing and also to turn tricks as an under age prostitute at $5 a time.  And she learned to drink, to take drugs, to favour men who would beat her and hurt her over men who would love the beautiful soul she was. She went to prison, she came out, she took more drugs and she sang, oh how she sang. Even toward the end when she had all but destroyed her voice with drug and alcohol abuse she still sang and it was more beautiful in its ruin than most people can  hope for in their own version of perfection.

Lady sings the Blues

She died in 1959 and her death was described on sleeve notes by the NY Times journalist, Gilbert Millstein, who had been a narrator at her 1956 Carnegie Hall concerts:

Billie Holiday died in the Metropolitan Hospital, New York, on Friday, July 17, 1959, in the bed in which she had been arrested for illegal possession of narcotics a little more than a month before, as she lay mortally ill; in the room from which a police guard had been removed – by court order – only a few hours before her death, which, like her life, was disorderly and pitiful. She had been strikingly beautiful, but she was wasted physically to a small, grotesque caricature of herself. The worms of every kind of excess – drugs were only one – had eaten her … The likelihood exists that among the last thoughts of this cynical, sentimental, profane, generous and greatly talented woman of 44 was the belief that she was to be arraigned the following morning. She would have been, eventually, although possibly not that quickly. In any case, she removed herself finally from the jurisdiction of any court here below.

She was no lady, but she was Lady Day. Happy birthday my birthday twin. You know how much I’ve always loved you and thrilled to share your birthday, and I’d like you to know that I always will. We’ll both just forget about that cunt, Crowe. He ain’t our sort of peoples.

Oh and she loved dogs too!

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