Potato fight

Walking through the town centre
on a busy Saturday afternoon looking
for a place to eat and calm down and
to get out of the craziness of the
high street I notice this new place
next to the shopping centre, Awesome
Chips it’s called, selling chips and
chips only.

The thought runs through my head
that this is just going to be a fancy new
hipster like establishment selling fancy
chips made from fancy spuds with
fancy sauce in a fancy package.

I get close and that’s when I hear screaming
coming from inside the store, yelling and
chanting.
That’s when a man around fifty wearing
grey jacket and dark blue jeans comes crashing
out of the store and falling into a cage containing
large bags of potatoes and spilling the
bags all over the street.

As the potatoes roll down the road a
large man abit younger than him and
much larger comes walking out after
the old man, his fists raised and yelling
“COME ON YOU FUCKING PUSSY, DONT
FUCKING PUSH ME OUT OF THE WAY”.
The old man gets up and just walks
away and walks down the street
and sits down at bus shelter.

This doesn’t seem like the typical
hipster place that I thought it would be.

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Small Tales: It’s personal.

I’m sitting here with my girlfriend at five on a monday morning watching the end of Wrestlemania 33 and after getting through a five hour show plus a two hour pre show it finally comes to this, the icon known as the Undertaker is finally hanging up the gloves after losing to the most hated man in the WWE right now, Roman Reigns and bring the Undertaker Wrestlemania streak to 23 and 2.
He pulls off his gloves, takes of his jacket, folds it up and leaves it on the mat and then takes of his iconic hat and places it on the jacket before he exits the ring and kissed his wife Michelle before walking up the ramp and taking one last undertaker pose before descending bellow the stage.
The all to familiar gongs echo through a dark citrus bowl as Wrestlemania 33 comes to a close.
It’ seems official for now, the Undertaker has finally retired after 27 years within the WWE and going out at the show he made famous, Wrestlemania.
I don’t know what to think, both me and my girlfriend are in tears and it’s not just because of the lack of sleep and 7 cans of beer but because of the thought of how iconic the Undertaker is and how important he is.
We both go to bed and before we go to sleep my girlfriend starts asking me question about him, when did you first watch him? Why’s he your favourite? And that got me thinking about why The Dead Man is the performer I connected to.

I remember I was given a VHS tape when I was 9 years old and it was a pro wrestling tape, Monday night raw 1999.
The only real memory I have of that tape was a giant 7 foot figure called the Big show walking to the ring but it wasn’t him that stood it, it wasn’t his giant “Larger than life” persona that caught my attention it was the man walking beside him and his name was The Undertaker.
It was the mystery of this person, his weird clothes and his weird tattoos and the fact that the commentator kept referring to him as The Dead Man and in my head I kept questioning whether he was really dead. How can someone be dead and be walking into a wrestling ring for a fight? Is this man a zombie?
A month later I get another VHS tape and it was Unforgiven and the main event,  a six pack challenge featuring The Rock, Triple H, Mankind, Big Show, Kane and replacing the Undertaker is the British Bulldog, “replacing?” I thought “why they replacing that guy for?” I just kept asking myself where’s that guy gone.
The commentators kept referencing to the fact that “The dead man” had walked out on Monday night raw the previous  week.
For the next couple of months I keep receiving these VHS tapes of new wwf shows and on each one there is no Undertaker, he just doesn’t seem to be popping up anywhere and I want to no why, where the hell has this man disappeared to?

It was around June the following year and i’m sitting around a friends house watching Judgement day 2000 with The Rock and Triple H headlining the show for the wwf championship in a 60 minute iron man match.
Towards the end of the match Triple H, The New age Outlaws and the McMahons start attacking The Rock and then this weird music starts playing and then a gong and “The Dead Mans” and everything different now the Undertaker comes speeding to the ring on a bike to rock and roll music and for the next three years he was the American Badass and I became obsessed, I didn’t watch any WWF show unless the American Badass was on the show.
And over those three years he changed, he become a bad guy and then a good guy again, he teamed with his brother kane and feuded and he became “Big Evil” but he was still the “American Badass” he was still “The Dead Man”.
I spend months and months running home from school from gangs of kids just so I can get home and feel safe and watch an Undertaker match.

And then it all changed, again.
2003 at the Survivor series, 13 years in the making and he’s facing Vince McMahon in a buried alive match and it all look all but over for the boss, taker has at the grave site and is ready to put the owner to rest until his brother, Kane comes out and knocking Taker into the grave so the boss can pour a ton of dirt on to the dead man.
And then Wrestlemania 20 at Madison Square Garden and he’s facing his brother Kane.
I ran home from school with a copy of the show, I put it on and skip forward just looking for this match and I find it and sit back and watch.
Kane comes out first and he stands in the ring and it all goes black and this voice then echos through out the arena and it’s Paul Bearer, Urn and all and he’s walking to the ring followed but hooded figures carrying flamed torches and then the gong hits and out he comes wearing the long coat and the black hat and he makes his way to the ring with his music blearing out through out the arena and he gets in the ring takes of the coat and the hat and rolls his eyes into the back of his head, this is the Undertaker I was waiting to see after all these years, the Dead man, the Phenom.

For the next 13 years he remains sporting the Black coat and the black hat and notching up Wrestlemania win and win, facing Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 in one of the best matches I’ve ever sat through and then facing HBK again the following year ending Michaels career.
And then wrestlemania 30, Brock Lesnar is the man he’s set to face.
The match wasn’t the best, the Undertaker looked disgruntled and unprepared, it wasn’t the Undertaker from before and I was sad watching it and then it happened, Brock hits him with an F5 and then gets the pin handing Taker his first lost at Wrestlemania after notching up 21 straight wins.
I was shocked after the match, I don’t think anybody ever expected it to happen and the faces inside the stadium shows you what him losing at mania means to everyone and to Wrestlemania.
Hearing the news after his loss that he collapsed after getting backstage brings shock to everyone and that’s when the question start to come up, how long can this man go on for and when will it end, and I can’t help ask the questions myself.

But our questions were answered and he was back the following year to face up and comer Bray Wyatt and Taker looks great, better than the year before and picking up another mania win.
Over the course of 2015 he came and went, getting into a feud with Brock and even facing him inside Hell In A Cell and even facing and beating Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania 26 inside the Cell.
and then it all came down to Wrestlemania 33 and we all heard the rumors going in, is this the match that will finally end the Undertaker career and it was, Roman delivers a spear and it’s over and the Undertaker is done.
There’s so much I could over with his Career from before his WWF/E career, his entire Wrestlemania streak, his feuds with Kane, Mankind, Triple H and Shawn Michaels even his entrance alone which would send shivers down my spine during the right moment but there is 27 years of career to cover so it’s best saving it for another blog on another day.

I hate over used terms in the wrestling business like the best ever, the greatest ever, greatest ever superstar and future hall of famer but the Undertaker truly was the best, atleast to me anyway and it’s personal, it truly is, if you were a young kid whos never watched wrestling before and you see this unique performer appearing on your t.v screen wearing black and claiming to be a dead guy how can you not find yourself becoming a fan.
Taker was the reason I became a wrestling fan and he’s the reason why I remain a fan today.
My opinions of the business change everyday and my feelings towards the performers change every hour but my opinion towards the dead man doesn’t change and yeah I know the man had some shit performances and had to wrestle against of the worst performances the business had to off and some storylines the man had to go through that we could speak less off, but we all we know that it doesn’t matter because it’s the Undertaker.
I don’t know who the greatest of all time is and I don’t really care because the Undertaker will always be the greatest.

Cycling helmet, dickhead.

“OI, dickhead”
that’s what I hear while riding
home in the rain from work one
Friday afternoon.
“Where’s your fucking
cycling helmet, twat”.

I turn my head to see where
the voice is coming from and
see a lady jogging over the road
shaking her head at me.
“Twat” she says under her breath
as I carry on riding further
away from her.

I don’t know what to think.
Why have I effect her day so much
that she has to point out to me
that i’m not wearing a cycling
helmet.

Where is she going?
Where will her run take her?
Why isn’t she wearing a high
vis vest?

She’s going keep on running
and I’m going to keep on riding
and she’s never going to
see me again
so it’s ok you don’t have to
worry about it because if I
fall off and crack open my
skull I’ll be thinking about
wearing a helmet next time.

I make it home and I’m still
thinking about the health
and safety jogger and I look
at my tyre and fuck I’ve
got a puncture.

A small tale of Lesta and Kasabian

Saturday June 21st 2014 and I’m waking up with a massive hangover, I spent the night at the Mosh nightclub in the town centre and didn’t walk through the door until 5 am with a box of half eaten Maryland chicken strips and a can of Pepsi.
Todays the day I go and see Leicester’s very own rock and roll band Kasabian play to a sell out crowd at Victoria Park. Many bands from the city have gone on to make It big, Showaddywaddy and many others that have slipped my mine but none of them have every played on such a grand scale that Kasabian are about to.
50,000 thousand people expecting to fill the park this evening and you sense a buzz in the air and social media has lit up with facebook posts, tweets and even youtube vlogs.
The suns blearing through the window, it’s a perfect summers day and the can of Pepsi will just go down well.
I crack it open, grab some pain killers and wash them down, sometimes a warm drink and two pain killers is the only hangover cure that can really work. A really cold drink will just upset the stomach and on a day like this it’s not worth the risk, all energy has be stored and the sugar needs to stay in the stomach at all costs. You don’t want to be walking around a crowd of thousands and faint out of nowhere because your sugar that drank earlier on in the day were all brought up because of a cold drink. You have to live by certain rules and this is a rule I will stand by for a very long time. Drink it warm and slow and eat something dry, dry toast or crackers but no cheese, that’s not going to soak well if you have a stomach full of beer and spirits.
I eat some toast and jump into the shower, a quick shower just wash off last nights booze that’s sticking to my skin.
The club was full last night with students from all over, teenagers with fake id’s and people in their 40’s and they are all going to the gig tonight, it was the talk of the club with none of the conversation leading towards how great the club might be, it was just about the gig they were preparing to see and it was all they care about because it might be the gig that changes their lives and makes everything complete, dreams of being interviewed in 30 years time about how “they were there” and how it was their spike island and their Woodstock.
I get out of the shower, get dressed and to pass the listen to the Bee Gees while I wait for a text from the boys about the days events.
Sometimes days like this need a bit of order and regulation, it’s too long of a day to get lost in the shuffle of things, you could find yourself being lead off into a pack of wild beasts on a stella binge and miss the entire gig all together, so you have to have a sense of order just to get things going and everything will turn out perfectly fine, it can’t be forced it has to follow a special routine and a certain set of rules can help with that.
I finally get the text from Sam “meet at KFC in an hour”
“Ok mate, we grabbing food and what’s happening with the booze” I reply.
“We getting picked up from KFC, we ain’t getting food and don’t worry about the booze we can pick that up nearer to the park, we all going for a pint or two first”
“Ok ill see you soon” It’s happening, it’s all coming together now and the day is starting to shape up nicely.

I get to KFC five minutes before I meet the lads and I look around the car park and see groups of men and women and kids walking around in t-shits with “LESTA” and “KASABIAN” on, is this gig turning into something bigger than the band? Why is this gig getting everyone in a buzz?
I hear a conversation behind me between two men and they sound very angry “I hate Kasabian, shower shite the lot of them, I have no idea why anyone would care and why they got so big, who gives a shit, why is this fucking gig turning into something so big? They’re not even that big of a fucking band anyway”
“I know mate” the other man says “I don’t get it anything, why the fuck would you go to a Kasabian gig, load of shit if you ask me, they couldn’t give a shit about Leicester anyway”.
I don’t know what think while listening to the conversation, I don’t know why they would care that much about people seeing a band they don’t like? Why do they care that people care about something they don’t care about? What do they care about? Are they fans of the Arctic Monkeys? Why don’t they get a couple of tickets and see a band they actually? They might actually forgot about the gig that’s happening tonight
I stop listening to the conversation because I’ve entered a state of deep confusion partly due to the blaring sun that’s hitting the back of my neck so to regain a little bit of focus on the day I give Sam a call just to find out where he is but he doesn’t pick and that’s when I hear a loud screeching voice and a car horn near the entrance of the car park and it’s Sam shouting me over “Over hear you little drunken fuck” he shouts and he’s leaning out of his girlfriends car window waving his middle finger at me.
I walk over to the car and Sam gets out to let me in the back, he’s got his Kasabian t-shirt on and the first thing he does is look at mine and says “where the fuck’s your t-shirt” and points up and down at it like he’s never seen one before, I’m wearing a white t-shirt with a picture of Times Square on it, it has a slight hole in shoulder but I thought it would be a perfect fit for a rock and roll gig in the sun. “I left it at home” i say to him, not letting him know that i don’t even have a Kasabian t-shirt.
We start making our move for the pub and looking out the window I can see people on every corner and coming out every drinking establishment wearing the same t-shirts as I seen in the car park. Am I the only one without a t-shirt?

We arrive at the pub and it’s so packed that a crowd of people with pints of beer have gathered outside the bar, the laws of no drinking on the street have been wisely ignored today because how can the law control 50,000 drunken music fans on a day like today.
We get out the car and say goodbye to Sams girlfriend and we make our way through the crowd to the front bar and that’s where we spot Jamie standing at the corner with three pints, one for me and one for Sam and we are both wondering where everyone is.
“We’re just going to have one here and make our way over to the park, everyones backed out today but it’s alright” says Jay “it’s too packed in here to have a drink and we might as well grab a crate of booze and drink at the park and sit on the grass”.
We stand in silence as we down the pints of booze, we tried to talk but with the crowd of loud voices you can’t hear a thing, everyone’s shouting over everybody and it’s drowning out anything audible.
So we leave the bar and stop off at a local co-op for a crate of cider but immediately after walking into the store we notice that the shelves have been emptied apart from one crate of fosters and thankfully it’s a crate of 20 so we put our money together and grab the last crate available and then we start taking a slow walk to the park taking it in turns to carry the crate.
Getting through the gates after going through the typical gig ritual of being searched and I even had to explain that I have a pack of mints in my pocket and not a pack of hash, so we around the park looking for a place to sit and it’s already half filled.
Sitting on the grass near the ice cream van, cracking open a can I scan the area looking at everyone from mums and dads and kids and even old people walking around, there seems to be a different feeling now we have entered the park, something I didn’t sense while I was waiting for Sam to come pick me up, it’s exciting, it’s a feeling like somethings happening that people have never felt before and they are going to make the most of it today and it’s in the sun and the ice cream sales and beer profits are going to go through the roof around the city centre today.
I’ve never seen people walking around looking this excited before, have they ever been to a big gig before and if so was it like this? Why is has this gig made them so excited? Will they ever feel like this again? These question just keep running through my head as I watch them move around.
Jay gets up and says he’s getting some food and he’ll be back in a minute, we’ve been here for an hour and I’ve had two drinks, the time is passing by so fast I’ve not even noticed I’ve just been watching everyone walk by and trying to work out what they are thinking and feeling and time is flying by.
Jay comes back with a giant pulled pork baguette but he’s got a face of anger “£7.00 this was, what the fuck is that all about” he says “too fucking much”.
Me and Sam just laugh and take in what he’s just said, both me and Sam are lucky, we both ate before we left home.

The day goes on, we finish the crate of 20 and go for 30 piss breaks between us and then we make our way to the stage trying to get as close as we can but the crowd has picked up fast and we can’t get so close so we lean up at against a metal railing which is blocking off a stage where the bands family and friends are sitting and our view is restricted because of a hire loo, but we are fine with it, we are in the middle of it and it’s exciting.
The crowd surrounded this area have noticed a small group of famous people standing around and start to shout their names but nothing is happening, the celebrities are in a world of their own and just want to watch the gig, the have special passes that the rest of us don’t have and they ignore their surroundings and the voices screaming their names.
A countdown appears on the stage and on the screens, a 60 minute countdown and the crowd goes crazy and now they are ready for it and they start to fill the stage space, all 50,000 of them.
The 60 minute countdown comes to an end and the crowd gets ready for them to hit the stage and you can feel the buzz.
And it happens, the crowd erupts they are now on stage and they go straight in to their new song bumble bee.
Everyone us are jumping up and down as they make their way through the first song.
Half way through the gig a fight breaks out next to us, the excitement and adrenaline got to much for a small group of people and it all kicked off, two men with no t-shirts on and holding cans of Carlsberg come to blows and wrestle each other to the ground before their friends break them apart.
If this was a club they would have been removed from the venue but they just move apart and find a new spot to stand in the crowd as the band continue to play with the crowd singing along.
At one moment during the gig a small drunk man stands at the railing and starts to piss and everyone around him takes one step back to get away from him and then a shower of cups of beer come pouring over us directed towards the pissing man but he takes no notice and he finish his piss and walks away without looking at anyone around him. and he makes his way through the crowd and back to find his spot.
The band finish up their set and I have no idea where the gig has gone, the excitement around me and everything has made the gig a blur, it’s over already and I don’t know what to think other than how did that happen?
We make our way towards the exit along with a huge group of people and we all find the first sign of a chance to get the park and we rush towards a hole surrounded by security and mass panic begins and security push and push trying to hold us back but none of us really care we just wanted to get out and carry on our night.
The security have lost all control right now, the crowd of people are still singing and chanting and pushing to get out.
A crowd of drunken loons loaded with adrenaline and chemicals can never be stopped by untrained security officials like this, it’s like trying to hold of a pack stamping bulls all they can do is hope that the crowd will break off and calm down and walk away and they can then go on and carry on with their jobs directing the herd of people towards the true exit.
A group of smart sober people surrounding us near the front manage to settle everyone down and point the crowd towards the opposite side of the park towards the right exit and the crowd turns and make’s it’s way to the other side, still singing and chanting.

Finally we leave the park and start to make our way home, heads pounding, hungry and buzzing with energy.
Walking down London Road with everyone around singing Kasabian songs and me, Sam and Jay all join in and I can’t help but think this is the type of atmosphere you would only get a football match but it’s a rock gig and i’m never going to see this type of thing again.
We go for a quick pint in an empty Irish pub just to find a place to calm down and re group.
I settle down and just think about the day and everything that’s happened, I don’t think any of these people experience what they have today, is it the band? is the event? or is it something else? It doesn’t matter what it is, it just happened.

I’ve gone green.

Sitting on the bed looking at the wall
while my guts burn
waiting for the moment to come
when I have to run to the bathroom
just so my soul can shoot out
of my mouth.

Hours go by and still no soul
just the feeling of it sitting
down bellow like stale beer
at the bottom of a glass.

I can’t even think straight it’s just wait
and wait
and wait
I can here the news in the
background
people working on the road
outside
next door neighbours moving
around their furniture.

And i’m just waiting for the
slime to make it’s appearance.
If I make it to the end of the
week will I still remember
my name.

You write a blog?

“you write a blog” a voice over my shoulder says “does anybody even read it, why bother with it, nobody is ever gonna take that thing seriously are they”.
I’m standing around my work desk with nothing to do so I’m writing blog ideas out when a costumer comes over to me and hovers over my shoulder to see what i’m writing and it’s nothing knew what he says, it’s something I’ve heard since starting a blog, I’ve even heard the same thing about writing the odd poem here and there what you writing? poetry? Why do that for?.
“Yeah, I write a blog, I like to write, it’s kinda the thing I want to do instead of working in a factory” I say to the costumer and he looks at me with eyes of confusion and a bright red face that’s not because of the cold outside “yeah but does anybody read it, seems abit of waste of time writing for the internet if nobody bothers to read it” he replies
“No, nobody reads It and I don’t care, if one person reads it, which the odd person does from time to time than that’s good enough for me, it’s a place I can put my writing on and if nobody reads i’m still going to carry on because I just like writing, do you need anyone to see you’re driving skills?”
“No”
“Well then it doesn’t matter, if you like it than keep doing it even if nobody see’s what you like to do, just keep doing it”.

I leave work later on with the thought of what the costumer said running through my head and I keep thinking about what he wanted to do when he was my age? What Ideas about his future did he have in his head while he was standing around a dusty factory? Maybe he wanted to be a pro footballer or a musician or even a writer himself.
I keep thinking why he didn’t chase one of those dreams he wanted and what he’s thinking now he’s having to drive around a van delivering paper to factories.
We can’t all make it and live out our dreams, we all get lost in the shuffle of the world of work. it would be amazing for that one phone call saying “here’s a magazine write whatever you want” or “bloggers wanted and we don’t care what you write about just write something by Friday” but that might not ever happen so i’m just going to write a silly blog of my own about random stuff that comes from my head and you never know one day that call or that email might come.
For now i’ll just continue rolling around with the machine and clock in at 6 every money and stand at my desk thinking about what the next idea might be. I think I might write about being yelled at by a jogger while riding my bike for not wearing a bloody helmet or I might write about the machine itself.

How they feel.

Standing at the bar on a Friday
night, I order a bloody Mary and while
wait I can hear a conversation
behind me between
a couple of men in football shirts.
“I couldn’t believe it” one of them
said
“I was trying
to get the match on my computer
and the bloody internet went,
so I phoned up Virgin and they
didn’t know anything, they didn’t
help at all, they just yapped and
yapped and I told them where to
shove it, it’s supposed to be
costumer service and they didn’t
even help, fucking useless the
lot of them”.

Something started to burn inside
of me
while I waited for my cocktail.
I kept thinking how do you think
they feel every time
you phone them up bitching and
complaining about how your day
has been inconvenienced because
you can’t get online.
Your day has been stalled for a couple
of hours so you give them a call
and they then have to sit and
listen to your shit and try and give
shit.
Everyday they listen to that type
of shit from people who’s day has
ended because they can’t get online.

No thank you.
No kind words.
Just help me the fuck out because
i’m not capable of doing it myself
that’s why it’s your fault my
internet is down.

I leave the bar and take a seat
next to my friend and I look over
at the men and I see them still
talking about his problem.
I just hope his beer is ok.

Don't believe everything you read