What to get him for Christmas and a deep heart felt thank you
Firstly, we would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas. When we say all we mean all 7.132 billion of you. You know who you are. You are hugely significant. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. And we don't care if you aren't "in" to Christmas either. Man, if you said you couldn't wait to crack open a cold one after Ramadan then we would be right there with you. For the drinking bit that is. Not the fasting bit. Tried it for 6 hours once. Didn't take to it.
Secondly, we would like to thank all 7.132 billion of you for rushing out and buying our book Windy and Chatty. It only took us 12 years to write and what do you do the minute it's published? Pretend you have never heard of it. Well, I'm not going to pick a fight with all 7.132 billion of you because that would be stupid. And dangerous. But this isn't the last time I am going to mention this.
Finally, if you are still wondering what to buy the man in your life, honestly, believe me, it could not be easier. We always imagine Christmas morning will be something like in the Photo. It never is. But we still imagine, you see. So either give him the gift of imagination and buy him a book, for which he will always hate you. Or show him the real thing. In real life. Before you can say bedroom hopscotch he will put a ring on that finger. Bingo Bango now everyone is happy.
Well my mid life crisis is coming on fast as expected but is manifesting itself in odd ways. For instance, I have given up spreadable butter entirely. Sure it's convenient and doesn't make a mess of your bread but the taste is nowhere near the full fat butter option. I repeat, so you will see how passionate I am about this, "nowhere near". And it now seems somehow silly to deprive myself of this if I have only 50 or so years to go. I want to live those last 50 to the max you see. Really push the envelope.
Another thing I like to do now is give out more. About things I would have kept to myself before in case I upset the human apple cart of life. I am, of course, talking about India. Incredible India. India of the Taj Mahal and India that wants to go to the Moon and India that has the nuclear bomb and India that has all those kids running around in Calcutta half dead. What gets to me is the non stop charity work we do over here for them. Well.. not me.. specifically. I mean those other western dudes who try to help the kids out. And yes I get that. I do. It's not the kids fault they are starving. But then whose fault is it exactamondo? Yours? The poor people of India? Mine? Look, I haven't even been there. No, it's the Governments, you see? I literally just read that they are looking to build a statue to their first President and it's only going to cost 250 million squids. Does this even make a lick of sense to you?
Rant over. I am still going to end up like the dude in the picture. You know it and I know it.
Nick "I still love you India but you make me weep" Richards.
Buck Rogers and the 21st Century..don't make me laugh
Well good old Buck didn't see us all twerking in the new Millennium that's for sure. But I'm not here to rail against Miley Cyprus as my Dad might call her. He is always getting people's names ever so slightly wrong and I suppose I will start doing that some day soon as well.
No, what I actually want to blow off steam about is the last great taboo. I am of course talking about separate changing rooms for men and women at swimming pools. Surely, this is all a bit 20th Century? Surely, we have evolved to the point where we can all change together? As one? Hmmmm?
Are we not concerned future generations are going to look back at us and laugh? God, can you believe those clowns didn't all change together? It's like us looking back now at Segregation, Suffragettes and Victorian Attitudes to just about everything.
I don't want to live in a world where this practice is carried out. I really don't.
Arguably the greatest ad-libbing moment in cinematic history occurred the evening Harrison Ford decided to respond to his co star's line of "I love you" with the immortal "I know" in Star Wars. As we know Harrison was playing the role of Hans Solo and Carrie Fisher that of Princess Leia.
The man should be knighted for this riposte. I like to use the line as much as possible in my every day dealings with the fairer sex. There really is no answer to it.
Happily, it also kills stone dead the likelihood of an "I love you more" ping pong session breaking out.
Try it. Your partner will actually love you more for saying it. Mine does. Every time.
Man, I have been wearing glasses and contact lenses for 20 years. They sucked when I was 18 and they sucked when I was 38. So I got the Eye operation finally. Overcame my fear of being blinded and now I feel like the dude in Limitless. Honestly, it's amazing. The eye doctor says I have better than 20:20 vision now. I said "excuse me but did you say better than 20 20 vision?" "Indeed" she replied. "Maybe we should take a look at those ears of yours."
Post-op the world looks better than I can ever remember. Cars look sharper. Chicks look hotter ( bone of contention with my wife, understandably). But you get the point. I feel reborn.
Seriously, did anyone ever get rich by minding their pennies?
So my father always said "if you mind the pennies the pounds will take care of themselves". I was following this mantra quite well until the age of 12 when I discovered women and booze (14) where I promptly fell off the rails. So my question is this : Has anyone in the whole western world since the beginning of time actually gotten rich by minding their pennies?
Because I'm thinking they haven't. It was exhausting, as I have said before, getting a thousand hits on this blog. It's exhausting thinking about 1000 pennies. How long would it take to begin your slush fund of pennies, nurture it and mind it till it grew into a Tenner? A Tenner. Ten Pounds. Ten Euros. Could you even buy a T-Shirt with that? Of course you aren't supposed to. You are supposed to save your 1000 pennies until you have another 1000 pennies and another 1000 pennies until you have 100 pounds. Wow. I have a 100 pounds and it only took me 9 years and all my friends to get here. Sheesh.
I dont think so.
You know we don't like to get too serious on this blog. Life is just too dreary to be anything other than charming I think. Having said that Oscar, an old friend of mine, used to say that it was much more important to have a regular income than be fascinating. I think he was wrong there but I didn't have the heart to say it to him. He didn't actually have a regular income, bless.
I had in mind to write something funny about the end of the famous Lionel Richie song Hello. Basically at the end of the song a guy bursts into the room where our Lionel is warbling his love for the blind babe and I kid you not says the following: "I think you need to come into the art room. There is something going on in there." So Lionel follows him in dutifully and there is the blind beauty moulding this hideous clay head of Lionel. While there is unquestionably a resemblance you have to ask yourself how a blind girl who has never been with our Lionel before can come up with something so nearly correct. I'm just saying is all.
Anyway I'm not here today to be amusing or charming. I want to give out a little if I may. I was thinking about our Friend upstairs. YOU KNOW WHO. I read this piece in the paper about this little five year old girl being taken from outside her home in India and who was then repeatedly raped. She was found alive but only just. So I'm just wondering how this can actually be. You know He didn't give us the power of X-Ray vision or Flight. No. Or maybe even make us 100 per cent stronger. No. He gave us Paediphilia. Does that make the slightest bit of sense to you?
Do I still believe in the Big Man? I dont know. I sure would like to give him a bunch of fives if I met him let me tell you. Although I'm guessing he is probably really nice and we would have a nice cup of tea instead.
I'm still angry though.
Recently I was trying to remember the first time I moved a box. Nick, seriously what the fuck are you on about? Indeed, let me explain. A little after university I was sharing a squalid apartment with a good friend of mine. It so happened that he walked into my room one day while I was closely "examining" some seedy reading material behind my bed. I was caught like a rabbit in a headlight. A masturbating rabbit that is in case it's not clear. When my friend enquired as to what I might be up to I replied as casually as I could that I "was moving some boxes".
I reminded my friend many years later about the incident and told him the sordid truth and ever since we have referred to the gentle art of self-pleasurement as "moving boxes". Indeed the reason I am telling you this now is that I told another friend this story at the weekend and he too now has adopted the expression. It works on so many levels. "I'm just going off to move a box". "Think I need to move a box". "Could do with moving a box or two". " I'm pretty spent. I moved about five boxes today already".
I still can't remember the first time I moved a box. But I bet it had something to do with the ladies in the picture.
North Korea is going ballistic and is it any wonder I ask you when their women are refusing to put out? I mean a man can put up with nearly every aggravation in his life. The lack of good Telly, only basic food to eat, even no access to Beers. But let's call a spade a spade here shall we? A man, whether he is from Pyongyang, North Korea or Croydon, England whether from Goobertown, Arkansas or Roodbar-e-Jonoub, Iran, really cannot go longer than 48 hours without some form of action.
Look I can't back this up with any meaningful statistics other than perhaps drawing on my own experiences. I can just about get through 24 hours without some form of physical tic appearing. At the 48 hour mark the body starts getting increasingly jerky with spasmodic movements more regular. After 72 hours the body goes into hibernation mode to prevent core meltdown. After 96 hours you are now looking at increased aggression and the loss of all social skills. Any longer period after this medical attention must be sought as the body goes into thermal nuclear shock.
I'm no expert on the average North Korean male but I'm guessing he's not getting anything at home and his mind is addled with rumours of the Western Male getting "it" every day. Hah! If only he knew. No wonder he wants to nuke us back to the stone age, though. When we look at it like this we can only sympathise with his lot.
You see you can mock the Western way of life all you want but the Female Promiscuity Movement, sorry, the Suffragette movement led to happier women and thus happier men. However, it wasn't until the wife-swapping antics of the 1960s, my apologies, the Swinging Sixties that the benefits of the Sexual Revolution had really begun to bite. I mean think about it. Other than the Bosnian War(and we are still scratching our heads over that one) there hasn't been a land war in Europe or America for yonks.
So Nick how do we avert Nuclear war please? Well I thought that should be clear by now. Either the good women of North Korea quit goose stepping around the place and look after their men or we all get together with Kim Jong-Un over some Tiger Beers and to use some Entourage parlance "hug it out". Easy-peasy Japonesey.
Bridget Spears : Why names matter by Nick Richards
I had this very intense dream last night about Britney Spears that seemed to last the whole night. I just thought I should tell you.
Sorry nothing "went on" in the dream. She was to perform is all. Seriously. I was in attendance at this small concert hall where no-one was over the age of 4 other than myself and some people I was in school with. I actually woke up before the "concert" started.
The first thing of note is that her name in the dream was definitely Bridget Spears. I have no idea why but I woke up amused if nothing else. Which got me to thinking today about the power of names.
Britney Jones doesn't sound as bad as Bridget Jones does it? Britney Spears is easily better than Bridget Spears. You couldn't imagine the Super Spy as anything but James Bond could you? James Bland? James Brand?
And now it has just hit me. I was reading in the Times yesterday that the actor Michael Caine's real name is Nick Richards. Only kidding. It's actually Maurice Mickelwhite. Go figure.
I dont suppose you have noticed how much of this is going on on the History Channel. It's the same with books. Some dude has a book out now called Hitler's Philosophers. I mean, come on, really? His Philosophers? Like I give a damn. Of course, I do and I will probably read it but that's not the point. That's not the point at all.
You see it is very hard to not watch anything with Hitler in it if you have a modicum of interest in History. And those clever programmers know it too. Adolf Hitler probably pulls in more viewers than Nicki Minaji's hair styles. I'm telling you a series on Hitler's favourite jumpers would garner as much viewers as Entourage Series 15. He is just that watchable.
I think I know why too. He does crazy like no one else before or since. Sure, sure we have had Pol Pot and that bloke with the serious moustache from the USSR. But they were your garden variety Genocidal killers. They never had killer subs, went on missions for the Holy Grail, really tried to take over the world, together with all the unspeakable horrors that melts your brain every time you learn more.
Finally, I bet you read this post because of the title. Which puts me on the same level as those I am criticising. Oh well.
Keep looking at me. Why it's ok to be vain by Nick Richards
Two friends of mine were sharing a small bedroom with two single beds in close proximity to each other just after University. One night one of them brought a young lady back to the room. Unimpressed with the less than salubrious surroundings the young woman informed him that she believed there was someone asleep or more appropriately pretending to sleep in the bed next to where they lay down. Undeterred by the potential peeping tom our Lothario replied that "it was ok, he doesn't mind".
A less selfish individual might have shown more concern for the young lady's feelings. Naturally, he may have had a good defence in not being fully compos mentis what with all the raging hormones and the twenty cans of Slovakian lager. Nineteen cans, sorry.
The bottom line here is that I wanted to tell this story and it actually has nothing to do with the title. I will blog about being vain some other time.
Nick "Vanity Bag" Richards 2013.
PS. By the way the story has a happy ending. All the people featured in the story are now happily married.
The curious case of Benjamin Affleck by Nick Richards.
What has Ben Affleck ever done for you lately? Well I will tell you what. Ben Affleck has proven, in the best Hollywood tradition, that you can star in Gigli and be as wooden as a mahogany hat stand in Pearl Harbor and bounce back. That gladdens my heart. It really does. To see him choke up at the Oscars the other night kind of made me choke up as well. Or it could have been a Minstrel I was sucking on at the time. It's unlikely we will ever know for sure.
You see if we are all a little bit honest with ourselves we will admit that we have all succumbed to kissing Jennifer Lopez's ass in a music video because she asked us to at some point in our lives. This is a metaphor you see. A metaphor for when we take a wrong turn in life. I didn't mean we have all dated Jennifer Lopez. And that she by some coincidence wanted us to be in a Music video with her as well. Kissing her bum.
Ben's career went from being a bus boy nobody to being Matt Damon's best mate then back to being that irritating bloke from Armageddon. Nobody including me wanted to have a drink with him. Even if he was buying. We just did not want to know.
But now Ben has grown a beard and made Argo, the best film we have all seen in ages. We even would like to go to Iran. To see the scenery. And joke with the locals about pulling the wool over their eyes 30 odd years ago. We would probably all fall around laughing while munching on Falafels. It would be great. And Ben could even drink with us if he wanted to. Because we like him now again.
There is nothing like success to bring us all together. The curious case of Benjamin Affleck is now closed. He surely can't screw up his career again can he? The thing we can take from all this is we need to grow beards. Immediately.
How to make love with Fish and Chips by Nick Richards.
Well another Valentine's Day has been and gone and once again my signature dish of Fish and Chips has made the ladies gasp. When I use the term "ladies" I am of course adopting a form of blog licence. There is only one lady, obviously. Obviously.
I know of no other culinary pairing outside of Cheese and Ham or Gin and Tonic that goes better than Fish and Chips. I am going to now reveal on the world stage how to seduce a woman with the humble Fish and Chips.
It takes a brave man to "do" fish and chips on Valentine's day and so I guess that makes me once again the bravest man you now know. Where do you get your inspiration from Nick, I am often asked. I will tell you. From Nature. The humble potato is evocative of brown earthy earth. The gamely fish iridescent as it darts around the sea and then your frying pan. It is crucial to proceedings that your fish knows the inside of a frying pan.
Now the trick to the chips is the potato. Make sure you get a good white one. Ask your friendly Tesco service drone for guidance. Then slice it up good. I have a very, very special implement for handcutting chips sourced from Chinatown in New York. I kid you not. Then pan fry the fish in beurre. Then do not under any circumstances open a can of beans. It is tempting I know. But it is Valentine's day after all and extra effort is warranted.
I have the two most exciting words for you my friend : Pea Puree. It's posh peas in other words. Now I'm not afraid to admit I have to look it up in a cookbook every year I make it so you shouldn't be either. For some reason birds love it. I do too, actually.
And there you have it. Food porn. But no more than the ladies are not going to win any prizes by having mismatched underwear, presentation is key. Put the chips in their own little basket, like they do in posh restaurants. Less is more. Same with the puree. Put it in a small thingy. There is bound to be a thingy in the kitchen. If you look long and hard enough you will find one. I did.
Wash all this down with chilled white wine. Finish with chocolate mousse. Finally, hand over a half thoughtful present together with your clothing suggestions for the evening and borrowing Chef's line from South Park croon : "I want to make love to you Woman". Works every time.
OMG what is wrong with this guy? I tried to email him, IM him, skype him, fax him, post a letter to him, connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIN and Myspace and call and text him at least a thousand times and nothing back. Not a thing. It's like we dont even know each other. Which is true I admit but I feel like I know him. And I like to think he knows a little about me, as I know for a fact that he reads this blog.
All I wanted to do was talk to him one megastar to another about his breakup with Katie Holmes and his failed screen test for the part of Frodo in the Hobbit. (This is not widely known outside the "Industry"). I have over 785 hits on my blog as I write this which in blog terms makes me a megastar. ( By way of contrast my Mum has no hits. She doesn't have a blog either but that's besides the point).
Anyway, if you are reading this Tom, this is what I would have told you over some Iced milk if we had met up or over the phone if we had not. Get over this fallow period in your life. We all have slumps. Why just the other day even though I had scored an amazing goal in a soccer match I didn't finish a second easy one. You see. We all have ups and downs.
I would also say, look Tom, as far as I can make out you are either No.1 or No.2 in the Scientology scheme of things. Check the rulebooks on that. I would dare say you are entitled to either the No.1 or No.2 hottest chick in Scientology. That's got to be a good thing right?
And as for not getting the part of Frodo do not beat yourself up over this. For one thing read my excoriating blog on this. For another thing remember your performance in Far and Away? A lot of people I know still haven't forgiven you for that. Sometimes we should be thankful for the things we dont get.
Tom, I have reached out to you. Leave a comment if that's the way you want to connect. Final bit of advice: Delete Oprah's phone number and defriend her from your Facebook page if you haven't done so already.
Nick "Shoulder to cry on and all-round nice guy" Richards 2013.
So I went to the cinema to see Argo and got there early. Way too early. The cinema started filling up and I actually started laughing at the latecomers who were being ushered up to the painfull front seats. I mean what did they expect coming so late? The place was jammers and I had the best seats. But just as I was being doublely smug about enjoying my illegally smuggled in Yorkie bar this student usher advised me I had to leave as some disabled dude and his buddies needed the seats. What the what? Obviously, I said no I was not leaving. The guy's mouth literally dropped open. I calmly explained that I had gotten there early and that if the dude wanted real equality and whatnot then he should come early. I'm right amn't I? The dude should have come early. And guess what : The seat wasnt even for him! It was for his abled bodied buddies. They knew they had the ultimate loophole the sheepish-looking bastardos and I couldn't fault them for that. At this point I knew I was coming over all George Costanza and that I would have to leave eventually. And so I did. But not without that little fight and getting tickets to see any film I wanted in the future. And I also got to see Looper as well. So the tantrum was worth it all things considered.
So why the lengthy backstory? To explain the Hobbit really. There is that amount of backstory in the film that it doesn't get going for an hour. Then it stops again. Then it starts again. In one of the down periods I actually went out to look for more Coke and must have been gone for ten or so minutes and missed nothing. I even found myself thinking about my tax returns at one point and still I missed nothing. Why did it have to be so long?? Why? Why? Why?
I have never been to a film before which took longer to get though than the book. It goes against the very laws of nature and the foundations of civil society as we know it to mess with this basic tenet. Why don't we celebrate Christmas on the bank August holiday altogether while we are at it? Or allow everyone to drink and drive during winter only? It's absurd, that's what it is.
You could blame Dances with Wolves for this bloated 3 hour mess or you could blame rampant Capitalism. As I am a fan of Capitalism I am going to point the finger at the Pop Corn industry. They know what I'm talking about. I couldn't sleep that night I was so full of Coca Cola and pop corn after that 3 hour binge.
Why I could be the next James Bond by Nick Richards
This is something I ask myself from time to time, just like you I bet, but unlike you, I am in with a realistic shout. You might think God Nick Richards is not only a very talented author but he is obviously good looking enough to portray the super spy on the silver screen. You would be spot on in thinking this.
And look if you must know I have done acting before. I have been in several plays and smaller productions over the years. And have achieved critical acclaim. Notice I didnt say widespread acclaim. I dont do commercials.
What about Panache?I think its obvious I have that in spades from this blog. You know the way the Scientists say humans are made of 90 per cent water. Well I'm not. I'm only 45 % water. The other 45% is Panache.
If you dont know what panache means you are no longer allowed read this blog. Seriously. Short answer is : James Bond and I have it. In spades.
I have 94 children to feed. Buy my book. If not for me. For them http://tinyurl.com/d7govjn
I propose the following laws with immediate effect: "That every man, woman and child shall henceforth have 2 birthdays. The second birthday shall be a day of his or her choosing. It shall be an offence punishable by 2 weeks in prison or a 10,000 Euros fine should either birthday not be celebrated. "
" A birthday will be deemed celebrated if no fewer than 20 guests have been invited and attended. The wearing of birthday hats is deemed compulsory. Any expenditure by the host over 500 euros will be tax deductible."
But Nick this is ludicrous! Or is it so ludicrous that it is a work of genius?
Allow me to explain. We are in a deep recession, perhaps even a Depression. We wont know until we are drinking champagne at the Melbourne Cup again. It's very much like that movie The Perfect Storm where they are in the eye of the storm and its all peaceful and whatnot. So how will Birthdaynomics help Nick?
Think about it. First of all you get to have 2 birthdays. We all love birthdays. Imagine all the presents. Where do presents come from? Shops, right? That means jobs my friends. Lots and lots of Jobs. Bakers will have to work overtime.
So in a nutshell we are talking about mass consumerism and a lifting of everyones spirit. Whats not to like?
So that's my life changing idea. Here's another one. Buy my book at http://tinyurl.com/d7govjn