We have just become a bestseller! And just look will you who we are beside! Stephen King!!! That's a lot like opening your first fish and chip shop beside a McDonalds. Although you would win all day long selling the fish you may not shift enough patties. But if people started going into your fish and chip shop on those days they didn't feel like a Big Mac and all the trimmings and instead started associating your Fish Supper with the Golden Arches well then my friend anything could jolly well happen couldn't it??
So here we are with his Eminence Mr. Pat Kenny in Studio at Newstalk
Notice how he isn't Patrick Kenny or Paddy Kenny. That is because he is a brand very much like Taytos or Bulmers. If he had his own cola flavoured soft drink Mark and I would drink it. Maybe not every day. Maybe even just the day it came out but we would certainly buy it. That is because he is a brand. Have a listen below.
On the back of some recent PR, you can also read an excerpt that we provided to the good people of RTE right here: RTE Culture.
Guys check out the animation on
Youtube. Thanks to Chris Carley again for the awesome animation, Aidan at
Avalanche for the new website and thanks to me for the amazing direction, production and like general ideas and such.
So there I was minding my own business when a re-run of Sin City came on for the umpteenth time. And as we all know one of the First Laws of Television is that there are certain shows that you are compelled to watch over and over. They know this- the dudes in charge of your TV. They know you have to sit through Raiders of the Lost Ark for the bit where Indianna kills the baddie nonchalantly with his revolver and they know you need to laugh at the special affects at the end where the Nazi wax models melt or whatever, even though a part of you is still scared witless. Because you know..it could happen..it is God we are talking about here after all. And they know, they just know, you love the bit at the very end where some janitor wheels the box enclosing the Ark of Covenant into a massive warehouse chock full of other boxes marked 'Top Secret'. Blows your mind every time it does.
Anyway this also goes for other shows like: Rambo First Blood and 2 but not anything after that. Godfather 1 and 2 but again no more. The Naked Gun. Indianna and Temple of Doom. Shawshank Redemption. All James Bond movies ever. Classics in other words.
Same with Sin City. Those clever TV boffins know we will wait patiently for Jessica Alba to appear on screen. And so.. I dutifully did. You have got to love movies. You fall in love with a stylised version of someone who remains quite like that forever. Like Dorian Grey if you will. All the while back in Reality 1.0 you get progressively less svelte. So, anyway, as I watched Jessica do her little shimmy dance on the bar counter I asked my wife casually if she knew that Jessica was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? I wasn't sure on the detail at the time but I wanted to talk Jessica up a bit, I suppose. My wife replied that indeed she was not aware of that. Yes, I continued, she is worth billions of euros. Again, I may have been over egging the pudding here also, I must admit.
Now that I was on a theme of all things Jessica Alba, it led to me explaining to my wife that if Jessica ever came up to us in the street saying something along the lines of "Wow Nick I didn't know what a real man looked like until I met you" that I would have to leave her there and then. With all the shopping as it were. I would tell her that "Look you have had me now for a long time but now its Jessica's turn. She needs me." My wife to be fair to her took this all very well. A bit too well now that I think about it. She was off to see Mike XXXXL with her mates. Balls. I will have to start working out again.
My relationship with Socks or How I became richer than you
Apologies for not blogging this year dudes but I have simply been..well.. very busy. Probably busier than you actually. Anyway, there was some insight I wanted to share with you for awhile and here it is. I have been doing this for a number of years now to huge success. I have a whole philosophy around Socks and it's time I let you in on it. Not that I am trying to be invited on to a TED talk or anything but it is, after all, my own personal Life Hack.
When you go to a shop buy 10-20 pairs of the SAME sock. Do not buy any other type of sock. Seriously. Make sure they are black and off you go. I estimate I have saved myself 3 minutes every morning over the last 25 years not having to pair socks and I have zero input in the weekly sock wash and compilation effort. That's another 10-15 minute fiasco easy. Weekly saving: lets say 30 minutes. That works out at a whopping 26 hours a year. Let's say a day over the last 25 years when I brought in this time saving device par excellence. That's almost a month. A month. I kid you not.
That's a whole month I have on you where I have been working non stop on other projects to become richer than you. How's that working out for you Nick then, you might ask. Admittedly not very well, I would reply.
Still though: who really gives a shit about socks? Keep it simple like a dimple...
Dudes, just to update you, the first book has been digitally re-mastered as they say. We listened to your feedback and have improved the book as requested. Think we may have been watching too much South Park at one point. So the new book with its new title "Over the Top" (so clever in so many ways, I am in love with myself for thinking of it) contains less toilet humour and is about as finished as it ever will be. Cracking on now with finishing the second book.
Going to post up some of the artwork done by Chris Carley so you can drool over it. The man is a Legend. He is working on the artwork for Book 2 and a top secret project to be released later this year. Yeah Baby!
Back to the cover. It rocks doesn't it? Scarlett Rugers, my antipodean Cover Book lady pulled it off in fine style no? She is doing the second book cover as well.
So plans for 2015 are to finish Book 2, complete the secret project and somehow make an e-commerce site out of this blog so you can all go buy it. Zen, ve will all have a giant party and rock it like it was 1999. Or maybe just start a pension. Yes, on second thoughts a pension might be a better use of the money. Getting old, dudes.
So, well, we decided to put our bulbs in the new version of the book for vanity purposes. I was going to try and put this picture in:
Which is a picture of me Shane 'Nicholas' Healy on the left and Mark 'Richards' Healy on the right but as you can see the person taking the photo must have been laughing as much as we were because it is all distorted and whatnot. Since we can see from the Photo it was 2006 we were probably laughing about the idea that property prices would ever collapse in Ireland. As if.
Anyway I couldn't get this photo sorted so I went off and got this done:
Shane Nicholas Healy and
Mark Richards Healy. Clearly the photos have been retouched. Ooh Matron.
Before you ask we are not related in any way.
So my grandmother used to tell me from a very young age that I was a "vanity bag". A vanity bag. I ask you. What in the world is a vanity bag? You know, I never stopped to ask her. I think her meaning was quite clear though. After all she had probably caught me looking longingly at myself again in a mirror.
Well, it turns out my grandmother was wrong. Dead wrong. Wrong. And dead.
You see, it's ok to be vain. You don't even have to be good looking either. I will give you two good reasons:
1. Elvis Presley
2. Marlon Brando
Now I am no judge of good looking dudes but I think it is universally accepted that these guys were pretty much top of their class looks wise. Now take a look at these photos:
Look at this guy, will you? Dammit you could cut your wrist on those cheekbones they are so sharp.
And now some ten years later. Bloated and warbling about how sweaty he feels.
Can you see the problem here? Can you? It wasn't a love of cheeseburgers sir I will tell you that. It was a lack of vanity. Pure and simple. Elvis, God bless him didn't have a vain bone in his body. Otherwise he would still be here knocking out Rock around the Clock and whatnot.
Another case in point is this man:
The dude is sharp. On top of his game. Smoking and rocking that T shirt look.
And now look at him some years later:
What the hell is going on here? He will soon start wearing sheets. for pity's sake. Again. A total lack of vanity caused this sorry mess.
So there you have it. Vanity is cool. In your face Grand mother! I totally don't mean that. Love you Gran. RIP
I nearly swallowed my tongue walking home from the office yesterday. I kid you not. I need to set the scene here just a little bit first. So, there I was walking home after a hard day's slog feeling pretty pleased with myself for leaving the car at home that morning. Pure selfish reasons : to lose weight. You know from earlier blogs that I don't give a fig about the environment. Yeah, so there Leonardo. Although, to be honest if it was a pre-condition for a night on the tiles with you that I had to recant- no problem- I will write your next speech for the UN. Again, pure selfish reasons: the birds you hang around with are super hot.
Anyway, environmental concerns aside, there I was walking home thinking about..the environment..no, just kidding..the Scotland independence vote...no wait, that's a lie also...it was either sex, dinner or money. Same as you then, obviously.
Anyway, anyway, coming before me are 2 dudes holding hands. 2 dudes. 2 young dudes. 2 young, happy dudes. I tried to be all 2014 and not bat an eyelid but I think I may have given myself away-mouth open, pupils dilated-you get the general idea.
Of course, at my age you have no buddy beside you to go ' Jesus Christ, did you see that?' and the classic follow up 'Did that just fucking happen?'. So, got on my smartphone as soon as I got around the corner...
Actually, no, I didn't because, I was totally cool with it. This all happened about 8167 kilometres from Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, where I know this is common place, and nobody bothered them. It was so fucking cool.
Seriously, those dudes were some of the bravest kids I have ever met - I don't visit kids hospitals as a rule- too depressing.
Back to the story: one dude looked foreign and looked like he didn't give a flying fuck about anything. The other dude looked local. So, yeah we are in love and we are going to hold hands, fuck you if you have a problem with it- they seemed to say in their own little way.
Anyway, anyway, anyway the reason I think this is cool is because, pure selfish : the Pink Pound, my prurient friends. Look it up. When dudes start holding hands that means that the society they are calling home has evolved- it's liberated. Gay dudes start their own businesses and work hard and whatnot. Read this before somewhere a long time ago. Putin must not have read this by the way.
I gotta go. Peace out Gay dudes.
I know I should blog about Ebola because as a handsome white male living on a certain isolated Island on the fringes of the European Continent a deadly, contagious disease from West Africa is my worst nightmare. That and a Revenue Audit. I suppose I should be thankful Ryanair don't fly there. Still, if we have learned anything from this recent outbreak it is 1. Being selfless and actually helping sick people is a good way to get yourself killed. and 2. Eating Fruit bats is a clear no no for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, I said I wasn't going to blog about Ebola and I'm not. What I want to talk about is clothes and the way they can lift the mood of a nation. You see back in the Eighties it was pretty gloomy where I lived what with rampant unemployment and whatnot. And this was reflected in the clothes the people wore: greys, blacks, browns. If you look back now you will see what I am talking about. I remember well one Sunday my younger brother sporting this neon get up he had gotten when we had holidayed in France and people were looking at him like he was from the moon. This by the way was the same little country that if you wore Sunshades of any sort you were immediately viewed with something between hatred and suspicion. I still feel ever so slightly self conscious now when I sport my Wayfarers.
So I'm not talking about a Benetton type drive here. I am thinking that we donate our castoffs from three seasons ago to the worlds current hotspots. Think about the unbridled joy in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine if they could all start mooching around in new clobber. I know for a fact they will all be less inclined to fight. After all, no one likes getting their new Labels mucked up. Now that I'm writing this I think we should all go and watch Zoolander again. It seems there were some important messages in there after all. Well done Messieurs Stiller, Wilson and Ferrell.
Here is Chapter 1 in the long awaited sequel to the ground-breaking, breakout hit of 2012 Windy and Chatty & the Adventures thereof. Let us know what you think even if you think it sucks. Nick Richards
Chapter 1: Coldtiz, Germany 1942. 'You go on..ahead lads.. without me... I'm not.. long.. for this world.. now.. I will hold.. Gerry off to give you all a chance.. to get clear... to the plane. Stick to the..plan and. ..you will be..ok..When you get back tell old Riddle to..stick it for me will you?'
Lieutenant Chattingston Chatterley, at least twenty second in line to the throne of England, twice decorated for gallantry, holder of both the Victoria and the less well known Margaret Cross grinned gamely at his adoring troops as he clutched his quite useless leg.
The handsome lieutenant, with sideburns that wouldn't catch on for another thirty years, and who insisted on being called Chatty, pursed his lips and blew his greying locks away from his piercing blue eyes as he valiantly tried to make light of his perilous situation. If he was in pain he did not easily show it.
Chatty was propped up against the whitewashed outer garden walls of a bombed out Chateau with blood pooling around his right leg. He was perspiring heavily and his breathing was laboured. Even so he took the opportunity the pause allowed to drink in the lush scenery noting the bougainvilleas in full bloom and the cloudless warm sky.
Hell of a day to check out, he thought. Absent-mindedly, he started to fiddle with his bloodied leg using the sharp nib of his bayonet. Jesus, it stung. He had caught a nasty 9 mm German slug some way back which had made 'a bit of a dent' as he had so casually put it. In reality, Chatty's fibula was completely shredded below the knee and the shattered bone hung lifeless like butcher's meat in an African delicatessen.
There was no point denying it. Chatty was losing a lot of blood. Like a lot of blood. To any casual observer it appeared that all the blood in his body was behaving as if it was the January sales so frenzied was its desire to leave his body through his foot.
While the other soldiers returned covering fire one of the youngest soldiers, a fresh faced Canadian NCO by the name of Norman Winters who hadn't seen much action, vomited all over himself at the pitiful sight of their stricken leader. It was as clear as sellotape that Chatty would never be able to walk unaided again.
Suddenly, as if stung by a bee, Chatty sprang into action. He ripped off a strip of his bloodied shirt revealing a six pack and a glistening hairy 42 inch chest which admittedly he had never been too reticent to expose in public.
He was all man alright.
The all action, heroic type you could say. He wasn't too modest to admit that either. It was just a plain well understood fact. Some men sit back and let life happen to them. He just wasn't built that way. He was the type who took life by its lapels and drunkenly roared laughing in its face. It was the way he was made.
He took the time to admire his tight mid riff while shamelessly flexing his pectoral mussels. It was a pity there wasn't a mirror around because it was obvious he was looking as manly as hell.
Jesus, his leg hurt. It would be a shame to lose it alright. Still, at least his six-pack was in one piece. Even though he wouldn't admit it aloud it had taken him the best part of nine years to sculpt that work of art. Nine bloody, hard years.
Yes, of course he would miss his favourite right leg if it had to be amputated but since when did women openly admire your pins?
He could count the number of times on his left hand that his right leg had gotten a woman into bed. Zero. No, if it was a straight choice between being crippled or losing his six pack he would take the wheel chair every day of the week, thank you very much.
Not that he would have been ok getting shot in the chest either.
He was only marginally less proud of his pectoral mussels. Only marginally though. He knew other men would furtively gaze at his chest and wish they had the same.
But God just didn't make us all the same, end of story. No point belly aching about it. If you wanted to be ripped like him then you would bloody well have to work for it. Simple as that mate. Nothing comes easy in this life. Period.
As for Chatty's biceps they were beyond reproach. He could safely challenge any man to an arm wrestling competition and expect to walk away as the winner. Even that German monster Helmut Kohn stood no chance against him and he was seven feet tall and weighed 280 pounds.
Technique had won that particular battle. In his experience most people dismiss arm wrestling as a brute contest but that is not the case at all. Chatty must have read twenty books on the subject. But then he was something of an expert in all forms of martial arts.
Chatty considered ripping off the rest of his uniform but thought the better of it under the particular circumstances. Might look a bit weird? Would definitely look a bit affected. And that was never a good look. Damned war. Always getting in the way of some gratuitous nudetry.
Chatty couldn't deny that it was a tragedy that he would lose his leg. But the real tragedy was that it would end like this before more women had the chance to feast their eyes on his taut body. Didn't the women of the world deserve the chance to bed him? Didn't they God?
But then there had been so many, many lovers that it wasn't a total tragedy he supposed. More like a crying shame.
He thought of Rebecca, the French waitress who had insisted he meet her parents after one date. She hadn't even seen his body and she wanted to marry him for crying out loud. Probably guessed what lay beneath though.
And who could forget Lola the Venezuelan super model who had seduced him over a game of bisque? He was sure that had never happened before in the history of old French parlour games.
And, of course, Angelica. Sweet, crazy as a tropical storm Angelica. She threatened to kill herself when he called time on their four month cruise around the Indian Ocean. God, she was perfect. Even if he never understood a word she ever said to him. Maybe that's why she was perfect? Portuguese was a lot harder to master than one would think. He would put it up there with Chinese in terms of difficulty of learning a new language...
'Sir, the blood. It's pumping'
'What? Oh yes... Thanks for the update Ginge because it ... certainly is'
Jesus, he needed to focus. This was not the right time to be reminiscing about the glorious roll call of attractive women in his life.
Typical of the male species that even in mortal danger it would start to day dream about women.
A real sad indictment of the male human psyche if you asked him. It was borderline disgusting. But truthfully... he actually did feel kind of horny. Or was it light headed? He never could tell the difference. Whichever it was he really needed to stop thinking about the female form and start working out how he was going to get his troops out of danger. The Germans would soon be upon them. He needed to lead from the front. His men depended on him.
Fashioning a tourniquet to stem the bleeding he was reminded of a particular game of football he had been involved in before the war. His leg had looked a lot like it did now. It had nearly been torn in half by an opposing defender who had taken exception to Chatty's goal scoring prowess.
The bastard just couldn't live with his silky skills with a football and had sought to end Chatty's heroic involvement.
It didn't work, of course. Chatty had merely rubbed it in the bastards face by playing a blinder and going on to register a League record of twelve goals. Twelve goals in one game! Would that record ever be broken he wondered out loud? Well, it sure wouldn't be beaten if he lost his leg. His right leg too. The record- breaking leg.
Chatty thought wistfully about all the football games he would no longer be featuring in. Meddleham United would be without their top striker of the last ten years for this coming season or he was a monkey's uncle.
He wondered if the team would be able to carry on without him? He had literally scored all their goals bar the one that could be attributed to the referee in the Walthamshire cup. And that was only because Chatty had so cleverly used the referee's shin to score the goal to prevent him being called off side.
The team would probably fold all right. That was a real pity. A tragedy, actually.
Thinking about all these tragedies made Chatty sad.
And in reality they were all good players too when you really thought about it. Just didn't have that cold finishing touch that he was so fortunate to be blessed with.
You couldn't learn it though you know. You had to be born with it. Killer instinct they call it. And he had it in spades. For instance, look at Peter Jenkins who is a good player alright, but not, crucially a great player. Why? Because he simply ....
'Oh yes. What is it?'
'Sir, the blood, remember?'
Chatty looked at his foot as if for the first time. What a mess. Where did all that blood come from?
He was feeling faint, yes definitely faint and definitely not horny. That was a relief of sorts. Could have gotten rather embarrassing there. He had misdiagnosed himself and not for the first time.
He was feeling peckish though for some reason. Yes, he was definitely feeling hungry. You couldn't mistake that. The feeling of hunger. It was always nearby. Like an invisible friend. Yes, just like the invisible friend Rupert that he had when he was a kid. God, he missed the Estate.
He wondered what they were doing right now back at Beasingdale? Probably, beating the servants no doubt over something trifling. They loved it though the servants. Always had. That made him smile.
He could murder a cheeseburger and garlic cheese fries though. Jesus, the thought of it made him delirious and he licked his lips.
He finished the tourniquet and then looked glassily at his men. Why were they still here gawping at him? Didn't they have anything better to do? Had he been thinking out loud and they had heard him babbling on about Rupert? That could be embarrassing.
'You were saying we should leave you here. We can't do that sir.'
It was Ginger again.
Oh yes, his order. Was he joking or did he really mean it? Did he really want to be left here alone to die? It would certainly be heroic. Would definitely get him laid routinely if he somehow managed to survive this scrape and word got out what his parting words were. But no damn use at all if he was killed in action. No damn use at all if he was pushing up daisies instead of pushing up some young ladies boobs.
Jesus, he needed to stop thinking about breasts for one hot minute and focus. In any event, he was already pretty damn good in the heroic department if he was permitted to be so immodest.
What to do? What to do? That was the problem with leadership. Always bloody decisions to make. Never a moment's peace. Couldn't they work this one out for themselves?
What were their options? Weighing it up he decided on balance that he didn't want to be left behind to be tortured by the Gestapo but the chances were with the way his leg was he wouldn't survive the escape nor live long enough for the Germans to torture him. He had seen quite enough of those sort of wounds to know the ultimate outcome.
Besides they had no morphine so he would have to just dig deep and get on with it.
That was also a relief of sorts. He was never one for being tortured, he had to say.
Now that his mental fug had cleared Chatty felt much better and decided promptly on the only course of action. Those disappointed ladies would just have to find another impossibly handsome hero. Good luck with that.
'Right lads... you must..I'm not messing about..I won't make it...that's a bloody order'
'No. We can carry you. It will take just two of us and..' spluttered young Norman, losing his fight to hold back the tears.
Chatty's heart nearly exploded with pride on hearing the gushing sentiments, although he would have given the young Canadian a bunch of fives in normal circumstances. But in normal circumstances Chatty's urine would not be trickling down his inner leg as his body lost complete control of its bladder. That was not a good omen. No, in these particular circumstances he would let the girlish remark go unpunished. Damn bladder.
Chatty smiled paternally at his charges, picked an unfiltered Woodbine carefully from the side of his long coat, ran it under his nose savouring its smoky flavour and then popped it casually into the side of his blistered mouth.
Smoking was still a joy to him having picked up the habit in 1917.
After lighting the cigarette from the smouldering remains of his webbing Chatty pointedly stuck his stolen MG 42 around the corner of the bullet ridden Chateau and rattled a few rounds off at the pursuing German Storm Troopers. Several German soldiers pirouetted and fell lifeless to the ground. It was too easy.
Before he answered his expectant audience of five young soldiers, no, four, they had lost one back at the gates, Chatty thought back on the day's unfolding events. They had all six of them, no wait, he was counting himself twice now, all five of them had escaped the notorious Colditz prison, home to captured Allied officers and non commissioned officers since 1942. Chatty had been interred there since October 1943 when he was arrested in a nightclub in downtown Berlin. The war hadn't been his idea but he had to do his bit for King and Country.
The escape had been brilliant in its planning if not so brilliant in its execution. Five months of painstaking planning had been blown in one careless remark.
They had seized control of the laundry truck without incident at 6.30 am. Donning their crude but effective disguises as contract cleaners had also been faultless. Disaster struck at the prison gates.
Instead of replying to a routine enquiry Chatty had inadvertently answered 'Yes, I do like strawberries in the summertime.'
The correct answer as any German schoolboy could have told you was 'No, thank you, Officer, I do not smoke unfiltered cigarettes'. It was the Bavarian dialect that had caught him out.
It was there that they had lost Officer Lance Botham who with some quick thinking had thrown himself in front of the raised German's carbine to allow Chatty the seconds he needed to gun the truck into life. Chatty crunched through the gears as the truck tore through the half raised barrier and onto their escape. Botham caught a fatal bullet while Chatty screamed at the Gods for cutting down the young officer in the prime of his life.
And here they now were. Chatty with his leg torn to bits and still miles from the expected rendezvous with an allied task force sent to rescue their 'top man in Europe.' The plans for D-Day would be thrown back by months if not years without him to lead the assault on France.
Chatty suddenly felt terrible for the military planners whose plans would be now in disarray and he imagined their sad dejected little faces. Well they too would have to find another hero. There just wasn't enough of him, Chattingston Chatterley, to go around. Poor old Europe.
'No, many thanks all the same Winters but you will be quicker without me.
Anyway, the ladies won't find me all that attractive if I can't do the two-step will they Ace?'
Corporal Winters started blubbering something about it not being fair but was cut short by a round of mortar fire ten yards from their position. The Germans had located them and were zeroing in on where they were holed up.
'No, this is the end of the line for me, my boys. There comes a tide in all the affairs of men, you could say'.
Having made the devastatingly flippant remark Chatty propped himself on to his side and cut down four Germans who were bearing down on them fast.
Soldiering had come very easily to Chatty which was unremarkable when you realise that he came from a great line of famous soldiers. It was in the blood.
There had been a Chatty in Waterloo facing down Napoleon. A Chatty in the Crimea on horseback leading the charge topless on his mount but with a wonderful bearskin helmet bobbing on his head. Yes, there had been a Chattingston Chatterley in every major war of the past 500 years.
A glorious military past. It was a shame that would now come to an end because if there was one bit of business he had neglected it was raising a son and heir. Instead he had spent far too much time raising hell. He smiled a sad, knowing, regretful, little smile.
Undoubtedly, his son would have been quite the ladies man too.
Seeing his men sag under the enormity of the situation Chatty sought to rally the team's spirits. He mustered all the last reserves of his energy to deliver his final orders.
'If any of you try to move me I will shoot you in the face God Damn it so help me I will. Get the hell outta here now, that's an ORDER!'
Sheepishly, with tears in their eyes they looked painfully at each other. They knew in their hearts and souls that Chatty would not leave any of them behind in a similar situation. He would have carried the man on his shoulders all the way to Normandy if the roles were reversed.
Chatty was heartbreakingly brave. It was all too much. Winters blessed himself. They retreated as one scurrying off into the undergrowth. Chatty watched them go and then set to his defence once more.
The sustained covering fire from Chatty's MG momentarily created a lull in the German gunfire as they sought to outflank his position. Chatty kept up the fire until the machine gun overheated and cut out. Chatty discarded the useless MG 42 which was now steaming hot and wrenched his stolen Luger pistol from its holster. He admired the fine German engineering which produced such a beautiful weapon. At least the men would be well clear now. He was thankful for that.
He also retrieved a tatty black and white photo from his breast pocket and gazed at it momentarily.
'Ah, Aishling, you Irish fox, you're still the finest piece of ass this side of the Danube, he said to himself, before the guns started rattling in earnest once again. He went to kiss the picture but as he did so a bullet pinged off the brickwork directly over his head and Chatty dropped everything from his hands in momentary shock. He scrambled around in a panic to recover the photograph and set himself for combat once more.
Poking his eye around the corner, he observed the multitude of advancing Germans closing in on his position. It wouldn't be long now before they were on him.
Rolling out into the open like a geriatric acrobat, he quickly raised his hand and began to fire his pistol in their direction. Nothing happened. In fact, the gun didn't make a sound.
Chatty was confused. Of course, he wasn't half as confused as the German troops who wondered why this crazed looking Tommy was pointing a photo of a half-naked lady at them whilst simultaneously kissing his revolver.
Realising his error Chatty let out a huge wail and charged the oncoming Germans kamikaze style roaring 'BANZAI' as loudly as he could. At least this is what he imagined he was doing before the blood loss from his leg sent him into anaphylactic shock.
Chatty keeled over dramatically into a ravine which was just as well because at that moment there were roughly 1795 German bullets with his name on them zooming over to take his head off. And then blissfully the nothingness enveloped him. It was all over.
When Chatty came to 48 hours later, for a minute he thought he was reclining in his Oxford club chair sipping on a fine Mouton Rothschild and puffing on a Cuban before a roaring log fire back at the Beasingdale Estate. But he wasn't. Then he passed out again into the black void.
The next time Chatty regained consciousness he imagined he was on the Indian Ocean with Angelica making love on the open seas. But he wasn't. Again he was swallowed up by the blackness and he went down, down, down.
Then searing white lights beckoned and he opened his eyes painfully and slowly. Sadly, for Chatty when he finally opened his eyes for good the dawning realisation washed over him like the urine seeping down his legs. He was back in the prison cell next to Windy in Colditz. In fact, he had never left Colditz.
If I had the time I should really research this topic more before I blog about it but I wont for two very good reasons: 1. I'm too lazy 2. I don't want to find out someone else has been thinking the same thing as me.
So here it is. Easter Eggs. We all love them but they are a scam. One of my earliest memories is lusting after these chocolate bunnies that were the size of garden gnomes (why is there a silent "g" in gnome? it's not like we are going to mix it up with the word "nome" is it? There is a place called Nome in Alaska though, apparently)
Anyway, I presumed in my innocence that these bunnies were chocolate all the way through. I mean you would think that wouldn't you as a five year old? Why for instance would it be a hollowed out husk of chocolate filled with air? Who would do that? Who would fill something with air and ask you to pay for it?
I remember years later some guy coming on to some talk show hawking cans of air. How we laughed. Who would dream up such nonsense? It was a big seller in Tokyo, it turned out.
I never did get that bunny by the way but my experience with countless Eggs is that they are filled with air. They don't even bother putting in a bag of chocolates anymore to help with the disappointment. It's just air now. We pay for air.
I know I should probably get angry about the missing Malaysian flight or the problems in the Ukraine/Russia but honestly this vexes me more. Call it middle class ennui if you like. Or the shattered dreams of youth never really leaving you.
Just realised I passed through all of January without one amusing thought. Now that's bleak. Should have gone to the Canaries or somewhere hot. I bet they spend their lives with their heads full of warm amusing thoughts those Canarians. I live on a windswept, damp Island in the Atlantic. The worrying thing is I have chosen to live here. Me and countless others. The chosen few.
Now who in their right mind would do that? I could have lived anywhere. Really I could have.
Then again what if those dudes on tropical islands dream about rainy Islands like mine. Maybe they are so sun-baked and addled from the heat they fantasise about the rain. They would probably imagine something like the above picture.
That being the case I would then have to sit my hot, deluded friend down and say "look dude it's not like that at all. We don't live in castles anymore on account of the poor insulation and whatnot and well rainbows are pretty but you are normally indoors watching sky tv when it happens". He might come back and say "What's sky tv and have you seen all the sharks swimming in the sea near where I live? It's exasperating". We might just end up agreeing to disagree.
Anyway a propos nothing I'm going to the Author fair in London on the 28th of February. See you there dear readers. You can buy me some free wine.
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.
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