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30/8/2003: A True Story

[Chris Smowton, like my boss, the L&E team, my parents and just about the entire civilised world, is on holiday, so this week we return once again to the zany world of Masked Monk. Do you know, I haven't had a holiday since 2000. Someone will die tonight.


I like this story because it illustrates how antiquated all gender roles are, plus it involves a girl who's attracted to me.

When I was 17, I ran for ASB president. Since even in the United States, people tend to not know what that means, and my concept of the educational systems outside the U.S. basically extends to the fact that "it's different from ours, I think," this warrants a brief explanation. ASB stands for "associated student body," which is used interchangably with "student government," which is used interchangably with "a group of students that everybody hates who decide how school dances will be decorated and makes stupid theme days that everybody also hates, which coincidentally does not govern any students, and is made up of 75% dumb perky socialite girls, 10% arrogant anal girls, 6% guys who got lost, 5% girls who don't suck, and 4% guys who incorrectly thought that being in a class with nine girls for every guy was a good way to get laid." The previous sentence explains my entire campaign perfectly, especially my posters. The whole experience was similar to something that would happen in a 90s teen movie, only instead of hilarity ensuing and then me falling in love with one of the previously mentioned 75%, I just insulted everyone, lost the election, and then insulted everyone again. Then I became the official school DJ somehow*.

The whole thing is a story in itself, but it's just background information to the story I want to tell. I simply need you to accept that I was in ASB on purpose, not to get laid, and I'm still not lame or a girl.

Being the official DJ of a school means that when you're not in the process of playing music, you have almost nothing to do. When the ASB class period came, I sat around and flipped through my CDs, or occasionally helped dumb, giggly bitches lift things**. But occasionally, school assemblies require audio equipment of some sort, keeping me briefly busy connecting giant masses of wires between bits of technology. More importantly, they allowed me to wander off into the gym by myself for entire class periods. During one of these giant empty periods in the gym, one of the girls from the class started a conversation with me - I assume she was also stretching out some out-of-class task because she didn't want to do anything. Her name was Courtney, she was tiny, she like the Aquabats, she was faintly pretty, and she seemed to be trying a little bit too hard to be adorable, but I ignored this because I wanted to not fall into the 4% of the class from the first paragraph. The thought crossed my mind, though.

A few days later, at the setup for some dance, she was flirting with me to the point that no amount of 4% paranoia could write off. But at the end of the night, she said "You need a girlfriend. It's too bad I have a boyfriend." I laughed for days, and at the end of those days, I totally forgot about her.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a mutual forgetting. Over the next week, she forgot that her boyfriend existed because he was away in some military base in Texas, because she never stopped hitting on me. It came to a dramatic climax during a set-up for some assembly, where I couldn't move for several minutes because I was holding down a giant orange mat so people could roll the stage onto it. She took advantage of this situation to sit down so close to me that we were actually touching, ask me why I was sitting so far away from her, and then after saying, "I don't bite," playfully pretending to bite me. It was the least dignified thing I have ever seen and because I treated it as such, she left. A few minutes later, as I stood by the wall trying to look as if I was about to do something and was just thinking about it right now, she saw me and started asking me questions about my previous girl-based experiences. The answers were, as far as I remember, "Yes, no, no, kind of, no, why the hell would I tell you that, no, no, shut up." She thought about this and said "I understand. There's always college, right?" and walked away. I interpreted this, correctly, to mean "You're too lame to like girls." I was pissed, but I thought she was finished.

Reading this now, I feel like an idiot for saying that.

Thus, a regular pattern of Courtney hitting on me more and more blatantly while occasionally reminding me that she had a boyfriend, then getting pissed and calling me gay, emerged.

The turning point came one day, when everybody else had left to do actual work, and I was alone in the classroom, flipping through CDs or something. Courtney walked up behind me, slapped me on the back, and told me that I now have a big chalk hand print on my back. She then proceeded to wipe the rest of the chalk off on my shirt. And by "wipe the rest of the chalk off on my shirt" I mean "fucking groped me." No, really. To simulate what she did, put your hand on your chest so your palm lines up with your nipple, then press your hand down as hard as you can, digging in your nails a tiny bit, and drag your hand down to about the middle of your stomach. I was too surprised to respond logically*** and she left. This is the exact moment I realized she was totally insane and would never stop this ever, so I decided that I would just fuck with her as much as possible.

The high points:

I made the mistake of arriving first to this military base where the school decided to have a dance at****. I was actually locked outside the building we were setting up at, so I was just standing around outside when she arrived a few minutes later and invited me to come into her car because it was cold. Sadly, I didn't do what I wanted to***, but I did have the foresight to not get in the car. She opened her eyes really wide, pouted, and asked why. I said, and this is an exact quote, "I hate you and all you stand for." She looked like she was about to cry. I said something to the effect of "Ha ha ha! Oh Courtney! Will you ever learn to understand sarcasm?" and then wandered to the back of the building and didn't talk to her for three days.

Later that year, I was trapped in a conversation with this other girl about Prom. She asked me if I was excited, I said I wasn't going. She freaked out and used many complex arguments to convince me to go, all of which were "But it's Prom!" Each time she said that, I would respond "That's not a reason," immediately and without thinking, because it was true. When she said "But imagine some girl getting all pretty just for you!" I wasn't paying attention enough to change my response, and as a result Courtney jumped out of nowhere to say "He doesn't like girls." I nodded. Then Other Girl and I stared at each other for about thirty seconds. She got about half a word into "Well, you could go with a guy" before I explained I was kidding.

That was the last time that Courtney made hilarity ensue. I think I saw her yesterday, and even though it was only for a few seconds, I sensed a deep melancholy***** within her. Personally, I like to think that somewhere, Courtney is alive, and someone is hitting her.

*Resulting in me playing the tetris theme off a gameboy over giant speakers during lunch with no negative consequences, as well as other wacky adventures.

**Some girls seem to think it's cute to be weak and ineffective, which means that given something to lift, they will ask the nearest guy for help even if he is half their size.

***Hitting her with nearby furniture, over and over.

****How I wish I was kidding. This dance taught me the main problem with our army - everyone in it is really dumb, and carries guns. I got way too many M16s leveled at me during the course of that day. It was about September 17th, 2001, but that is no excuse for totally forgetting basic gun safety if the main point of your training is "How to use a gun."

*****Lameness combined with being a total skank.

29/8/2003: Grrrrrrrrrr

Okay, I'm still not feeling up to much in the way of physical activity, so today I thought I'd try writing about some things that really piss me off and see how worked up I can make myself. Then I could channel the energy caused by hate into useful activities, you see, like stabbing.

Right, where to begin?

- I really hate moths. I don't usually have much against them, but we have a problem at the office. You see, the ceiling of the men's bogs has been utterly conquered by moths. Moths of all shape and size are hanging around up there. Green moths, brown moths, even moths with chicken pox. There's a massive great bastard of a thing just over one of the cubicles, and since I spotted it I find it impossible to shit in there. You know some people have a problem with using a toilet when there's someone else in the room? It's like that, only it's a moth. I just know it's waiting for me to drop my guard so it can fly down and come sit on my face.

- And while we're on the subject of toilets, don't you just hate it when you get into a cubicle and try to do your thing, when some huge bloke goes into the cubicle next to you and precedes to take the loudest, fruitiest shit you've ever heard in your life? I quite don't know where to look. My own ablutions become suddenly impossible. I feel like a tiny lion cub playing with insects while Daddy Lion tears a zebra into bite-sized chunks.

- I also hate that Diet Coke advert with the woman on the train. It's not that it's not quite a clever advert, it's just I really hate the woman. She looks around at all these random words spelling out a flirty message, then down comes the newspaper and she realises that she was sort-of-flirting with a podgy man with a stupid haircut. Why do I hate her for this? 'Cos of the hypocrisy. She's the ugliest woman I have ever seen on television. Christ, was she the director's girlfriend or something? She's got eyebrows like huge black hairy caterpillars squaring off for a fight and a chin straight off the Wicked Witch of the West.

- I really, really, really hate Sex and the City. Words cannot describe how much I despise it and everyone concerned. Every single artery, vein, intestine, muscular fibre, tendon and nerve in my body longs to tear itself free and throttle those involved to death. If I was marooned on a raft in the middle of the ocean with a roast pig's head and one of the main actresses in Sex and the City, I would eat her and try to make conversation with the pig. I can only assume that when some TV exec was trying to write some kickass idea for a TV show, like "nudist lesbian pyromaniac vigilante crime fighters", they mistyped and wrote "four ugly, obnoxious women having explicit sex with a succession of men with unrealistic quirky character traits". God save us all.

- Mentioned this before, but worth repeating. I HATE that Persil advert with the twee little girl pretending to be Snow White. Oh, god. Makes me want to stand in a field of scorpions, slowly tightening a loop of razor wire around my scrotum. Or perhaps just send them a letter.

"Dear Persil,

Having been subjected repeatedly to that pile of cutesy-poo dross you call an advert, I was rather wondering who the fuck it's supposed to be aimed at. It would make everyone over the age of seven immediately rush for somewhere to puke blood, and the last time I checked, six year olds don't usually operate washing machines and as such have little use for washing powder. Having considered it, I have come to the conclusion that you are a bunch of useless tossheads.

Wake up!


Whoo! I actually feel kind of perked up, now. Maybe I'll try to be less hateful in tomorrow's update.

28/8/2003: Use The Farce

And now, a career profile with a certain amount of male nerd fantasy about it:


What is a Jedi?

A Jedi is an intergalactic troubleshooter and master of a mysterious and ancient power called The Force, inherent in all living things. The position involves meeting with intergalactic diplomats, rescuing said diplomats, being able to work alone or in groups, defeating or killing evil people with funny faces and performing really impressive acrobatics while holding a light sabre.

What are the qualifications?

The only required qualification for a Jedi is a high midichlorian count in the blood. You can purchase a Home Midichlorian Test from most pharmacies for a couple of credits, and most Jedi Academies accept home test results. If it comes up negative, bad luck, you can't be a Jedi. If your heart's really set on it, though, it's a little-known fact that home tests can't tell the difference between high midichlorian blood and tiger piss.

Aside from that, the following are also advantages:

- Girly haircut

- Whiney attitude

- Experience fighting the forces of evil

- Beard

- Ability to perform elaborate acrobatics with a light sabre without accidentally chopping off own limbs

- Tolerance for excruciating comic relief characters

- Ability to look good in a hooded robe

- Long-lost sibling

- GCSE/GNVQ/City & Guilds Social Studies

- Living a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Note how Qui-Gon has gone for the beard AND girly haircut ensemble. A bold statement!

How do I get into being a Jedi?

For most cases, a Jedi has to be trained from birth, so without really pushy parents you're a bit stuck. However, if the force is particularly strong in you or if all the other Jedi have been murdered for whatever reason, special cases can be made for trainees between the ages of ten and twenty. You will be trained under a Jedi Master, who is required at all times to be needlessly patronising, vague and dogmatic. It is important that you tolerate this, as many would-be Jedis are given failing grades for attempting to murder their teacher. If he is really getting on your tits, just restrict yourself to whining incessantly about him behind his back.

Where could it lead?

Once you've completed your training as a Jedi, you are ready to begin the all-important task of keeping the peace in the universe. You must do this while simultaneously training another young Jedi trainee, while being just as needlessly patronising, vague and dogmatic as your own master was. You'll receive a special information pack entitled "Training Jedi: The Needlessly Patronising, Vague And Dogmatic Way", and be required to attend a seminar on the finer points of being patronising, vague and dogmatic. The skills you learn from this will also help you be patronising, vague and dogmatic when dealing with non-Jedi.

If you don't quite fancy this, and have an enthusiasm for brutal murder, you may also be offered a position in a Dark Jedi organisation. Being a Dark Jedi involves wearing black, being horrendously mutilated, siding with evil empires and killing lots of people. It's not for everyone, but offers a better pension plan (see below).

What's the pay like?

Light Jedi make very little (if any) money for their services; room and board is provided by the Jedi High Council, which I presume is funded by the taxpayer. Retirement comes upon death. Dark Jedi, on the other hand, usually find their services paid eventually with partial or total control over the entire universe. Retirement also comes upon death, but at least you die with the knowledge that you lived a rewarding life. You see, evil is only MORALLY bankrupt.

27/8/2003: Ho Hum*

I've been feeling a little melancholic lately, readers, like you give a shit. Yes, I can't even seem to work up enough enthusiasm to get really pissed off about things. I had to spend 170 quid on a new pair of glasses the other week and I still feel vaguely well-disposed about it. I feel so run down and lethargic that I can barely hoist aloft my arm to point an indignant finger to the sky. I even actually played Scrabble with my parents last night, for crying out loud. That's the lowest rung. That's right off the ladder and up to your knees in a paddling pool of wee.

Maybe I'm just sad 'cos my girlfriend is in Australia becoming sunburnt while I am still quite clearly not in Australia, entering data for seven hours each weekday and wondering where I can find a high-powered sniper rifle and a clock tower. You see, once you've had your name entered on the Great Non-Virgin Roll Call, it's very difficult to go back to fist-pumping twice a night. It's like going back to Glenmorangie when you've just spent a year drinking nothing but the finest champagne. Mr. Twinkle, my penis, spends most nights pining for his lost love, making pathetic little whining noises, which was very embarrassing at the cinema.

Or maybe it's just that I'm lacking in energy. Since I started doing those infernal exercises to stop my back hurting, my body has actually started to develop. It's already used up what little fat reserves I had, and now I'm almost constantly hungry. "Feed us!" squeal my muscles. "Feed us fats and proteins so that we might grow big and strong! Then all the ladies will find us irresistable and rub their boobies all over us!" To which I reply, "But I feel so lacking in energy that I can't even be arsed to cook myself proper meals!" To which the muscles reply "DON'T CARE DON'T CARE WANT MEAT WANT MEAT!" If I'd known being fit would take this much effort, I'd've forgotten about the exercises and just rigged up some kind of ibuprofen drip-feeder.

No, I guess I shouldn't abandon it. I need big muscles to take the strain off my tortured spine, and I suppose it would be interesting to be fit for once in my life. Before now I've always had a scrawny thing going on, oversized head jutting out like some undernourished baby vulture. If my build filled out a bit, I might actually be able to beat the shit out of someone, or carry the shopping from the car in fewer trips. And if my mind ever does snap like a dry twig and I go on a mute Jason-style rampage, being fitter would help me soak up more damage to better emulate my role model.

Yeah, being fit's the way to go. I could start going down the gym and develop pecs the size of Peking. I could grow an enormous square jaw and start wearing a vest. Then I'll foil a terrorist plot or become a tough cop who doesn't play by the rules.


* the smell of prostitutes

26/8/2003: Sing Hosannas

My god! The prophecies came true! Three more Angular Mike strips have been uploaded, just as the writings foretold!

25/8/2003: So... Yeah

Have you ever seen that advert for Persil with the twee little girl pretending to be Snow White? I fucking hate that advert and it's on all the fucking time.

Okay, so that was something of an awkward segue into the fact that I'm not updating today. Thought I'd go along with the bank holiday spirit and give myself a day off. If you really are badly in need of some internet funny and fear you are on the verge of frenziedly biting open your own wrists, then I suppose I could chuck some quick links in your direction.

Just so you don't all walk out on me for this, allow me to tantalise you with the news of some more Angular Mike strips coming tomorrow. Yay.

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