This is the archive for Dave's Articles and Stories - at the moment individual pieces are shown below. 

However, as the number of pieces grows they will be organised into collections.

Apr 23

Me and My Big Prostarte 2


Me and My Big Prostate 2

I can see me standing in a continental style urinal in Piccadilly Gardens. (They seem to have come and gone). Nothing will pass save a few drops of scalding dew but the need is assuaged. I am thinking through my strategy to get home, trying to anticipate the need, which I just know will return, by recalling the location of other public conveniences. I make Piccadilly Station. I don’t feel physically unwell but am aware of a suppressed anxiety and end up praying for the next Blackpool train to be on time. The on-board toilet is out of action. I grit my teeth, cross my legs, and sit tight. At Bolton, the platform toilet is closed. It is now after seven and past commuting hour. I feel a resentment rise which will rankle across the coming months. Luckily the cab rank is well serviced and in ten minutes I walk through my front door, run up the stairs, for a relief which amounts to the laboured release of a few more drops of scalding dew. One hand is on the wall steadying myself. I lower my head to see if here’s anything glowing in the toilet bowl. I hear my wife’s voice. “Where’ve you been? I was getting worried about you”.

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Jul 10

Me and my big prostrate


Me and my big prostate

1. I am sitting surrounded by old men, some in striped pyjamas that may have first seen service at the inauguration of the NHS, and in the background Pick up the Pieces by the Average White Band funks up the action but fails to disturb the somnambulent atmosphere. There are one or two relatives, a wife, a daughter perhaps. Poor old beggars I think. Its some time later that I realise they’re my contemporaries. The few uninteresting magazines on the table housing the water jugs, fail to distract from an endless reading of the plaque on the door opposite.

Department of Urology
Consultant Urologist Miss Nobbs

"Not here to mock, not here to dis,
But Miss Nobbs is here to take the piss."
I think to myself.

If only there were a fish tank with a plastic crocodile that periodically opens its mouth to belch a great bubble of air. That's a good way of killing time, holding your breath between exhalations of crocodile air. Makes you vaguely euphoric and past caring before they even start to invade your private places.

2.  I am called to a cubicle by a young Indian or Sri Lankan nurse. She explains in  formal Victorian grammar what is about to happen, and asks if I understand. (How many times will I be asked this over the next few months, and how many times will I reply inanely and inaccurately, "yes".) I consider attempting a joke but fear it will not reach the target and abort it in gestation.   Read more

Aug 14

What did you do in the war Grandad?


Ah my boy we were veterans of the war of the generations, fought on many fronts. For example :


On my fourteenth birthday I walked into Hughie’s barbers between the bookies and the cake shop and ordered a Boston. Hughie looked at me as if I was mad. “What’s your dad say?”. “He says it’s OK” I lied. “He said it’s my money so I can do what I like”. The only truth in this was that it was my money earned from a Saturday job pushing a two wheeled cart around the village delivering groceries to old ladies who couldn’t carry them home. No more institutional short back and sides. I entered Hughie’s as a child and left as a youth.

Of course I soon graduated from Hughie’s despite his racy use of the cut-throat to get that crisp even finish across the back of the neck ; despite the offered pomane. If you paid men’s rates, you got a man’s service. But there was something lacking. I tried Brian’s down the bottom end of Chain Street. My sister knew him and felt sorry enough for him to push me in his direction. Even as a young customer my buying power gave me a sense of patronage.

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Feb 20

Ciao bambino

There are many ways you can get at an adult as a child; the sad thing is for the most part you don’t know you have the power. You are immured in a world to which no adult has a pass except by invitation. Your waltzerimagination, your fantasies, your labrynthine secret planet of forbidden pleasures and treasures are off-bounds to adults.

Occasionally they get an insight when through some act of carelessness or innocence you reveal a glimpse and create a tidal wave of angst, suppressed or repressed according to genetics, history, mood, menstrual cycle, the stress of poverty or proximity to pay day.

As a child you don’t know what’s going on, you just pick up on the unspoken, and animal-like respond by fight or flight, or human-like by lies and contrivances that buy time and allow space for some other crisis to intervene and command attention. If they but knew your thoughts you’d be the subject of muttered late-night stilted conversations where words are forced into the hanging constipated silence like turds, each passed inch accompanied by a scarce-suppressed whimper of pain and rage.Read more

Feb 13

On the Road : Cornerhouse Manchester

Film review - 17 October 2012

ontheroadfilmI approached this viewing with some trepidation. A screen adaptation of On the Road had been on the cards for twenty years or more since Frances Ford Copolla bought the screen rights. Finally brought to the screen by Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles it generated mixed reviews at this year’s Cannes Film Festival ranging from scorn to indifference. It was only to be expected. Kerouac’s novels were never written for the box office. Why he expected to make money from his genius in his life time is a mystery to me. My recollection is that the critics willingly accepted Salles' craftsmanship in producing a road movie that did justice to the road and were grudgingly half hearted about the script and performances.

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