Issue #62 January 9th - 15th 2004

Welcome to 2004!
We are all broke and / or over-weight, the days are short and dark and after the long months of Christmas hype, it feels like there is nothing to look forward to now. But it’s not true!
By Grainne Lynch

Reading the worst book ever on Sunday of all days & other poems
The night/ Itself was little more than a warm-up -/ I drank/ They laughed/ I drank/ They kept up/ I drank/ The last few just smiled
By Bob Young

The long lost diary of Miss S L Gleaden (part 13)
The hedge, who it has to be said was not normally of a grumpy disposition, had good reason to be displeased. Weeks earlier it had been given an incredibly gruesome haircut by a well meaning but incompetent hedge-trimmer.
By Rachel Queen

'The Honourable Profession'
Professional football was deformed at birth. The game was never honourable, never decent, never rational or just.
By Paul Williamson

The way (first) dates never go
"Personally I blame the Mexicans and their damned cacti. You must have seen him knock back the tequila?"
"Ah! So you were looking at him, weren't you? With those eyes. Poor lad never stood a chance."
By Johan Hugo



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Welcome to 2004

Here we are at the beginning of another bleak January. Christmas seems like a long time ago, now that the tree and all the sparkling decorations have been put away and the Christmas sweets and chocolates are gone or nearly gone. And at the end of the first week back to work, it feels like we’ve never been away. We are all broke and / or over-weight, the days are short and dark and after the long months of Christmas hype, it feels like there is nothing to look forward to now.

But it’s not true! Here is a list of good things about the end of Christmas and the beginning of the New Year – Welcome to 2004.

  • 1. New diaries. I mean the day-to-day planners, with pages of empty days and weeks and months just waiting be filled with plans. New diaries, like empty notebooks, are an inspiration. Diaries with clean pages make the year seem small and neat and manageable – but it’s impossible to know what will happen in the year ahead. And that’s exciting. But the best thing about new diaries is filling them up, so start now and you’ll soon have lots of things to look forward to.

    Get some brochures from the travel agents and start thinking about your summer holidays. And now is a good time to book your holidays because a lot of travel agencies are doing special deals. If summer seems too long away, arrange to go away at the beginning of April for Easter.

    Or make plans for February 29th. It only happens once every 4 years, so it’s worth making a bit of fuss.

  • 2. The New Year is a good time to join an evening class because it is the beginning of a new term. So pick something that you’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s kick-boxing or French lessons, and sign up immediately. You will learn a new skill and hopefully make some new friends.

    We are frequently being told by the people who know these things that social interaction is good for you. It’s means you live longer and have a reduced chance of dementia in later years. It can also warn off infection. So, if evening classes really don’t suit you set up a weekly game or movie night with your friends. Take turns to host it and tell everyone to bring some snacks and it will be a cheap alternative to a night out. And will boost your social interaction.

  • 3. January is the time for New Year resolutions. Every magazine you pick up is filled with ways to lose weight, get fit and change your life in 2004. The supermarkets have cleared away all their Christmas stock and replaced it with exercise videos, vitamins and de-tox supplements. All these things are designed to make you fill guilty and spend lots of money. Don’t give in! Shun tradition and start your resolutions on February 1st!

    This will give you a whole month to carefully consider the resolutions you want to make and plan how you are going to carry them out. And at the beginning of February, when everybody else is losing heart and thinking about giving up, you will just be starting out. So don’t let New Year resolutions ruin your New Year.

  • 4. Now that Christmas is over and life is getting back to normal, you will finally have a chance to settle down and read the books you got for Christmas, or listen to your new CDs all the way through without other things getting in the way, like Christmas parties or family games of Monopoly. It’s also means you will have a chance to think about the year ahead and plan your February 1st resolutions and fill up your new diary!

  • 5. Of course, the most important thing about the New Year is that the Friends of the Heroes are back from our Christmas break, with a brand new issue! And since the new issue of Friends of the Heroes is out that means it’s the weekend. I hope it’s a good one!

    Grainne Lynch

    (More by this author)



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Ruth Chantel Marie

I'm old
It finally hit me
Like the broken promise

The night
Itself was little more than a warm-up -
I drank
They laughed
I drank
They kept up
I drank
The last few just smiled

All but you
You either wanted the drink or

You told me you always ended up with wankers as I brought
You yet another cider and black

I was a prize wanker

As we talked
I hoped everything was
And the spotlight stayed on us

You danced away
A body
A tree with light
I just couldn't keep my eyes off you
But I played it safe
Played it like Monty Cliff
And drank away
You just couldn't pretend
These days

This could be a daily prize for you

It was all new to me
I hope for my own sake
That it was more than just a fuck

I guess your eyes said it all
When I told you I was a writer

As you talked about rave music
I kissed the chocker around your neck
And let the bones jump

I'm old and
In love and have so little -

God I can see why I'm hated.


Saturday night, the bridesmaid the drunk and me

There are only two
Two people who could beat me in drink
One is dead
The other keeps the bench warm for my return

I turned up late
Not late enough for some
The night drove me on
All I could think of is you,
My beauty
The one to save me
To kill the clown
It was poor but expensive Italian beer

Then you
The English bridesmaid
I did the usual
Feeling low
Told you things
Asked you to
Love me

But if you did you wouldn’t mean it

You laughed at me
Talked bad about me

Telling me I was
Like a piece of frozen dog shit

I only wanted arms around me
So it’s back to the beer.


I've loved I've laughed I've cried and now I find it all so amusing to think I did all that my way

They laughed at him
and everyday
I felt his pain
I tried
god I tried to pull him out of it

I guess when you’ve lost everything
And every night
You have the same bulb
60 watts of guilt
the same dripping tap,
You’re forced in to a deeper darker corner
any claim for self-independence
could ever endure

he was laughed on by others
still he took that knife
Sliced his dick right off
and stitched it onto his forehead
and as days passed
the dick grew old
and hung badly

he couldn’t try any more
it was never there in the first place

After 25 years
his wife had left him
worst of all for a doctor
she, she wanted a baby
like they all do

he couldn’t try any more
it was never there in there
he got sacked

cause you can’t work in the library with a dick on your head

95% of those books would have been better if the authors weren’t dickheads

he could never win
his dick became hard as the young blonde walked by
I smiled cause I guess I was a dick head
just like him, without the


Reading the worst book ever on Sunday of all days

“What’s your name boy?”
Pig boy
“Pig boy”
Yeah pig boy
“What the hell they call you pig boy for boy?”
I like to...
“Like to what, smell?”
“Smell what?”
Smell a pussy
“You a pussy smeller”
“You ever fuck one?”
“You ever lick one?”
“You ever stuck those trotters of yours up a juice pussy, a big wet pussy boy.”
No I just like to smell ‘em.

I finished my beer
And closed the book for good.

A hell of a lot of shit gets published
That makes a hell of a lot more money.

Out side
I saw a pretty young girl
Kissing her man against a lamp post

I left the book
I left the bar
A dog pissed against the lamppost

You could still smell the sex

And the piss.

Bob Young



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The long lost diary of Miss S L Gleaden

Previous Exploits of Miss S L Gleaden and her diary
|1|2|3|4|5| 6|7|8|9|10|11|12|

The story so far:

The diary of Miss S L Gleaden had peacefully travelled the world with the dippy but loveable adventurer. Its life had been interesting and slightly unpredictable, but no matter where it was S L Gleaden provided a safe corner in her rucksack. Until that is insisted that the pair should part company catapulting the diary into a whirlwind of bizarre and slightly random situations and as a which resulted in it being snatched from the window of the English nurse Rosemary Hill...

Part 13

Did you know that Norwegians read more books than any other population in the world? And did you know that books used to be stored with there spines facing the wall? And did you know that books do not particularly like to be thrown into prickly hedges?

While you may be surprised by the first two facts you would think that in this day and age most people would know that books should NOT be stored in hedges. The opportunistic sneak thief who stole miss S L Gleaden's diary did not and didn't give a second thought to the poor diary as he flung it into the most prickly of hedges not 28 miles from the house of the English nurse Miss Rosemary Hill. To be quite honest with you the hedge into which the book was thrown was none too pleased and rustled quite indignantly at the new arrival. The hedge, who it has to be said was not normally of a grumpy disposition, had good reason to be displeased. Weeks earlier it had been given an incredibly gruesome haircut by a well meaning but incompetent hedge-trimmer. To make matters worse the hedge on the opposite side of the road had just won the award for best kept boundary plant in the Tom Bowling Bay region of New Zealand and still hadn't stopped gloating about its superior green leaves.

Upon the arrival of a huge gust of wind both hedge and diary put aside their differences and attempted to remain routed to the ground. Many cynical readers may now be thinking.
"hmm… this seems like the kind of bizarre unrealistic random event that will by a freak of nature transport the diary of Miss S L Gleaden to a far off scandanavian land. I'm starting to disbelieve this story somewhat."

The more open minded of you will be relieved to hear that on this occasion the cynics were in fact completely wrong and if anything the storm added to the bounding process between the diary and the prickly hedge. As the skies darkened as purple thunder clouds rolled in. The wind howled mercicily and blew all but 5 superiorly green leaves of the prize winning hedge.
A can rattled up and down the road and the diary blew further into the heart of the prickly hedge, who may not have won any prizes but did manage to retain all but 23 of its averagely coloured leaves.

At the peak of the storm a mighty gust of wind blew the two siblings named Sally and Rebecca, who had been arguing about who had the longest hair out of the two of them, straight into the prickly hedge.

"oh great more company" thought the hedge, who try as it might was finding it slightly more difficult to be grumpy having watched its neighbour go bald long before its time.

The gust of wind again proved more than able to restore peace to volatile situations by stopping Sally and Rebecca from comparing their hair length as they became distracted by the many and varied contents of the prickly hedge. Sally quickly grabbed a toy dog whilst Rebecca's hand hovered between a yoyo and the diary of Miss S L Gleaden before she remembered that if she used both hands she could multitask.

"great,I get the one with the short hair" thought the diary. "her eyes are remarkably like those of Miss S L Gleaden. I wonder if I'll ever see her again?"

To cut a long story short the diary washed up on the shores of a small town in the long forgotten county of Cumbria. Locals were impressed by the story contained within, not to mention the book's ability to wash up on the shores of a landlocked town, and after many hours were able to track down the explorer herself and made sure that the book returned to her but not before they had read it from cover to cover of course...

The Cumbrian locals who had put the diary in a very safe place whilst they themselves battled with a storm which threatened to tear down their back fence, began placing bets:

"I bet she gets arrested as soon as it gets light. They are only just made it to Bangaladesh. I bet those Burhmese guards will be after them."

"No way! Those fools were drunk! I bet they get lost though."

"that's too obvious. You can't have tha. Wait. Let's put a stop to this arguing…"

DAY 19-Dawn

A new day, a new country, if I wasn't an illegal immigrant I would be feeling on top of the world right now. But I suppose I am on top of the world depending on on your perspective on life. Or maybe I'm on the side. One thing is for certain I'm not on the bottom. I don't think I've ever been awake before I and E before. Hope he wakes up soon we really should get moving! We have a long way to go before we get to India!

To be continued…

Rachel Queen

More By This Author




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'The Honourable Profession'

Part One

"Professional football was deformed at birth. The game was never honourable, never decent, never rational or just. Class was the root of all professional football's evils; those who played the game for money, the heroes who drew the crowds, were working class; those who administered the game, the directors and football club shareholders, were, as the greatest player of the age, Billy Meredith, contemptuously described them, 'little shopkeepers who governed our destiny'."

(Eamon Dunphy, 1991).

The relationship between those that play football and those that run it has always been a tenuous and volatile relationship. The expansion of football into working class communities in the late nineteenth century heralded a shift in the balance of power on the pitch. The dominant clubs ceased to be Old Boys', public school educated sides from the South of England, and from the early 1880s factory- or industry-based teams in the north of the country became far more successful. However, those in charge of the newly-founded Football Association were, in effect, men whose social standing was considered to be far higher than that of the best players. Their perceptions of football, how it should be played and who should be allowed to play it, were still based on the Public School model.

By 1885, the Northern clubs who attracted the biggest crowds and had the best playing records (Aston Villa, Notts County and Blackburn Rovers) were making secret payments to the players who represented them. 'Professional football' was a stark reality but the Football Association refused to acknowledge its existence, let alone sanction the practice. Consequently, clubs continued to make payments routine, underhand payments to their players in the form of 'boot money', where wads of cash would be placed in their boots before a game. Alternatively, players would be found employment with a sympathetic local employer - ideally, the club chairman or a club director - who would not be perturbed if he failed to perform on the factory floor so long as he performed on a Saturday afternoon.

The Football Association's eventual, reluctant, decision to allow professionalism merely represented their acceptance of the inevitable, but its recognition of professional players was accompanied by the introduction of terms and conditions which allowed it to closely regulate those players' activities. The Association allowed professionals to play on condition that they would not be allowed to captain a side or hold other positions of influence within the game. Furthermore, the Association introduced a regulatory system that allowed it to oversee the transfer of professional players from one club to another. Players would have to re-register with their club every year and could not play for any club other than the one they were registered with. They were free to join another club at the end of each season - even if their old club did not want to let them go - but players could not change clubs during a season unless they had the permission of the club that held their registration. They also needed the permission of the Football Association.

The limited degree of freedom of movement that this system allowed was enough to prevent it being an unlawful restraint of trade, and it soon became a fundamental part of the game's structure. Indeed, so successful was it in regulating professionalism that, shortly after the foundation of the English Football League in 1888, the League authorities introduced a new player registration scheme ostensibly designed to safeguard the interests of all League clubs. The difference was that this new scheme involved the use of more stringent - and quite probably unlawful - restrictions on player movement. But football had its first brush with English law less than two years after the introduction of the League and before the introduction of this League's registration system, and next week we will delve deep into the murky waters of the not-very-famous-these-days-but-still-of-immense-importance 'Radford v Campbell' case.

Paul Williamson

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"So, I guess now you're proud of yourself?"

"And where does that come from?"

"That boy who fell just now."

"Yes, the drunk one. What's that possibly got to do with me?"

"He must be intoxicated with you."

"Personally I blame the Mexicans and their damned cacti. You must have seen him knock back the tequila?"

"Ah! So you were looking at him, weren't you? With those eyes. Poor lad never stood a chance."

"He won't be standing full stop for a while. But don't be silly. I wasn't looking at him. I'm just observant, that's all. Unlike some other people, I look around me every once in a while!"

"And why would I look around? All I ever want to set eyes on is right in front of me. Still, it must be a terrible burden, this weight of responsibility you have to bear."

"For what? I feel exquisitely irresponsible, in fact."

For death, that's what. The decimation of the flower of our youth. A walking war-zone, that's what you are."

"Shows what you know, because in fact I've ever known one person who died, and that was my gran, and she was eighty-seven years old, and I was five."

"Oh come on, you mean to tell me you couldn't see that 'fall' for the transparent suicide attempt it was?"

"He only looked like he was drunk to me."

"Well, he was - that's why he didn't succeed. But he can't have been the first to recklessly throw it all away at the realization that there is only one of you?"

"You'd be surprised. I haven't even had a steady boy for years now."

"Surely you jest! If I wasn't pretending to be gay."

"What's up with that, by the way? The hair-clip, the clothes."

"Well I'm trying to lull you into a false sense of security, aren't I? That, and to avoid being slaughtered in envy by the slavering horde at the gate."

"There's no such thing, you silly."

"Good God, woman! Take a look around, Miss Observant- how about that boy, for example, brandishing the poolcue so belligerently, his eyes burning on you all the while?"

"He's sighting on the green, not looking at me at all!"

"How can he not be?... One look into those great big gorgeous green eyes of yours. or what colour are they anyway?"

"You tell me - you've been staring at nothing else all evening."

"I'm quite, quite at a loss for descriptive words. And I must say, I've never heard a girl complain about boys always just looking her in the eyes before!"

"I'm wondering about that - if you can't even tell what colour they are. You're going to have to do better."

"Okay, I'll try - they're sortof blue, but they keep changing. I can't quite seem to pin them down. Sometimes they're almost green, sometimes grey with specks of brown or hazel. Sometimes they're almost exactly like no other I've ever seen before. Now, how can eyes like that not entrance a boy?"

"Perhaps it's the way I kiss that breaks the spell."

"I guess I'll have to reserve judgment on that one - I'm something of an empiricist."


"Meaning I only trust my own senses as source of knowledge."

"And no doubt you'd like to do some research be fore you comment?"

"What can I say? I was born with an enquiring mind - that's just the way I am!"

"Well put this in your pipette and smoke it."




"And what is your learned opinion now?"

"Well, I don't like to say, really. Not before I've had a second opinion."

"Ah! So you'd like me to kiss someone else would you?"

"Oh no. I've told you - I only trust my own experience. But the lab is ready and waiting for you now, if you'd only. oh! Mmmmh."


"Mm. just a little more. mmh. Alright, that concludes the test, and the results are pretty conclusive!"

"And what's the verdict, doctor?"

"There's good news, and there's bad news."

"I'm not scared."

"Well, you're not going to like this, but."


"Now, don't get angry - but to put it plainly: they were. right."

"What? You didn't like it?"

"Not quite the way I'd put it, but."

"But you think I'm a bad kisser? Is that it?"

"Simply awful, dear."

"Oh really? Well, if that's the way you feel."


"But what? There is no 'but' here!"

"I'll just let that pass, shall I?"

"You'd better! You're in enough hot water as it is!"

"For what? I gave you an objective, scientifically-validated assessment, as honestly as I could. What can you fault there?"

"Hmph. You know, this was actually going quite well for a while!"

"Aha! But you haven't heard the good news yet!"

"As if I could be bothered - except that it would be amusing to see you try and rescue this one now. Good luck!"

"Not at all. I'm doing this purely in the scientific interest, with a side-order of looking out for your interests."

"You know, the idea of slavering hordes bent on murderous intent is gaining in attraction by the second!"

"Just hear me out."

'Alright - but make sure they're words to be remembered by. Appropriate for funerals and the consolation of teary-eyed parents asking God where there boy went wrong."

"Nothing of the kind. In fact."

"Oh come on, fun as it is watching you squirm, be a man and just spit, so you can get on with preparing for the axe."

"Alright, since you put it thusly. The fact - your technique may be far from miraculous, but I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't just a smidgen of talent hidden somewhere in there."

"A smidgen of talent? And that's your grand save! Now I'm seriously starting to wonder why I'm still sitting. You're not even amusingly embarrassing anymore."

"Because deep down you know I'm right, and you're hoping I can help you!"

"You help me? You're the one that will be in need of help by the time that I am through with you. In fact, I know psychiatrists who'd approach orgasm just sniffing you!"

"I seeeeee. Well, that is a disturbing picture, even if I'm not quite sure of the relevance? And did you say 'psychiatrists'? -trists?"

"It was just something to say, idiot! So, just for a bitter little laugh, how would a worm like you help me?"

"See, you are interested! Will I never be wrong?"

"I'm still waiting here. but that could change."

"Well, since you're so desperate then, here we go."

"I'm not."

"Hush. do you want to hear or not?"

"You have exactly ten seconds, then I'm out of here! I'm warning you."

"I thought you'd never say that. Okay then, here's how it is - I'm afraid there's only one thing to be done about your advanced kissing-malady: PRACTICE! And after all that you've said about me, I'm still gracious enough to sacrifice my pleasure on the altar of your development. So, who's the better person here, you tell me?"

"Huh! We'll see about that!"

"Oh we will, will we? . Is that a yes then?"

"There's just one more thing - you've done all the talking here, but what exactly makes you think you of all people could have anything to teach me?"

"Okay, I know - you don't have to say it. But I'm proposing here that we learn together - put our heads together, as it were. So how about it?"



"Oh, come here you!"

And the rest is silence (well almost.)

Hugo Johan

(More by this author)



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