Tag Archive: Halloween


This Halloween – Saturday 31 October, I shall be appearing at Southcart Books, Lower Hall Lane, Walsall for the 2nd annual Southcart Scarefest.

Free admission, free food and a multitude of horror writers to entertain you. And hundreds of books to browse and buy. What more could you want from Walsall’s only independent bookshop who continue to support local talent.

Hopefully, last minute proofing and delivery permitting, I shall have copies of my debut novel, Dead Girl Stalking on sale.

So if you’ve nothing else on, pop on down and see me and the rest. In fact, if you have got something on, cancel it. We’re a better bet. I’m on at 1230, just before the food, so perfect timing.

Southcart Scarefest 2015

Cheers.

Nick

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A worse horror than Halloween.

Last week I spoke much about Halloween, witches and the like. Well, that silly state of affairs is over now, but not so the horror in our supermarkets. You see, no sooner have the shelves emptied of vampire costumes and the last pumpkin has been gouged to pieces, a new terror is unleashed upon us.

Yes, I was strolling through my local Morrisons the other day, turned a corner, thus leaving tinned vegetables behind and walked right into it.

Oh no … The Christmas Aisle.

Come on, we’re only just out of October. And no, I wasn’t imagining it. I looked and there they were – rows of mince pies under the banner of Stock up in Time for Christmas. Looking at the boxes, I then saw the use-by date and noticed it said November 29. Now where’s the bloody point in that and how is this stocking up for Christmas? Your mince pies will be green and mouldy come the time you tell the kids about a fat man climbing down the chimney while also warning them not to speak to strangers.

Christmas. The season of goodwill to all retailers is upon us.

And while I was in the supermarket …

I made a fatal mistake the other day. I only had about half a dozen items in my shopping basket and was weak. I gave in to temptation and made a stupid decision in using the automated checkout.

Now I hate these things. I’ve never been the same since the traumatic experience of having an argument with one. It was when they were first introduced and I’d bought two books and a newspaper.

I’d scanned one book, then the other, only the computer checkout didn’t recognise a reduction in price if you bought the two together. Therefore, I called the customer service guy who rectified the fault. Then, before scanning the paper, I made the mistake of placing my hand on the bagging area.

‘Unexpected Item in bagging area’, the computer droned.

‘It was me.’

‘Unexpected item in bagging area.’

‘IT WAS ME!’

‘Please remove item from bagging area.’

‘I have. I’m dancing around the aisle now,’ I banged my fist on the bagging area.

‘Unexpected item in bagging area.’

‘Arrrgggh! IT’S ME!’

Another call to customer services and the guy ambled back with mild resentment and attitude.

Right, I was ready to roll. Scan the newspaper – Blip.

‘Place the item in the bagging area.’

‘I have.’

‘Place the item in the bagging area.’

‘I HAVE.’ Bang of fist – again.

‘Unexpected item in bagging area.’

‘Arrrgghhhh!’ And another call for customer services.

Don’t you just love automated services? But it doesn’t end there. Last week, as this picture will show, I tried again.

Sorry for the poor quality, but it was taken on my phone and at an angle as I didn’t want people staring. I hate to make a scene, you know.

Anyway, I’d scanned my veggies, newspaper and loaf of bread. However, I ran into trouble when it came to my French Bread Stick.

Yes, that’s it. Big, aren’t they, and one of a few items in a supermarket, impossible to bag.

‘Place the item in the bagging area.’

WTF? How the hell can you place a French Stick into a tiny carrier. You can’t. It’s not possible. Regardless, the machine wouldn’t let me move until I did so. Therefore, I touched the bagging area to try to fool it, only to knock my bag onto the floor, scattering all my goods.

Arrrrggh! Fume. Rage. I hate those bloody machines.

Then, the thing wouldn’t let me pay. It still wouldn’t accept that I couldn’t bag my French Stick so it locked the terminal and I had to wait for an assistant.

Christ! I’d have been served quicker if I’d stood in the longest checkout queue behind ten pensioners with full trolleys who all wanted to stay behind for a chat.

A checkout lady came to me, showing all the personality of an auditor on mogadon.

I grinned. Pointed. ‘I really hate these machines.’

She reset it, showing what it must be like to live without a sense of humour.

Automated machines. No wonder people resort to shoplifting.

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.

A few months ago, I told the tale of a car park in Leicester which is supposedly the final resting place of King Richard III. The car park was built on the site of an old Abbey and it is there, the one-time child murdering, Uncle Dickie, is thought to be buried. I spoke those months ago about the silliness of it but apparently, they think they’ve found him now. Also, once identified by DNA, they are going to bury him again.

What? He was buried. He’d been underground over 500 years. What was the point digging him up only to stick him under the ground again? Have they nothing better to do in Leicester?

No … don’t bother answering that.

Here is the old duffer, being terribly over-acted by Sir Lawrence Olivier during the death scene from the film, Richard III, based on a play by some guy named Shakespeare.

Trying to eradicate history.

I’ve kept quiet about this for weeks but no more.

I’ve watched and read about the Jimmy Saville scandal with interest (God, that sounds like an opening from a letter to my local paper). I know the guy isn’t alive to defend himself but from the testimonies I’ve heard, I’m in no doubt he was a very bad man. Thing is, people are now trying to wipe out all trace he existed by changing street signs, removing plaques, etc. A huge effort, in fact. It’s a pity that effort wasn’t put in over the years bringing him to justice when alive. I don’t blame the girls one bit but I do blame all those who now say they suspected him all along. It’s like everybody knew. In fact, I feel like I’m the only person who didn’t know Jimmy Saville was a paedophile.

It’s a shame though. I’ll never be able to watch those boy scouts on the roller coaster without wondering if Jimmy asked them to promise to do their duty.

Whatever the conclusion, this should always remain one of the best TV moments ever.

Knob of the week.

I haven’t had a knob of the week for ages. I stopped when most of my subjects were all knobs and I just incorporated them into the other stories. However, as a headline for Tory MP, Philip Davies, knob of the week, says it all.

Davies showed himself to be an idiot of the utmost degree by suggesting the disabled and people with learning difficulties should expect to get less pay as they could never be as productive as more able folk.

I did think of arguing the case against his remarks, even coming up with some clever and satirical putdown for such ridiculous comments from an MP. However, I think in this case, basic name-calling insults will suffice.

CRETIN!

No spooks in this house.

As I was saying earlier, Halloween has gone and not only that, I didn’t get one kid trick or treating at my door this year. Great. I knew that Jim Fixed it for Me, badge would come in useful one day.

Cheers.

Nick

Happy Halloween.

Boo!

It’s Halloween this week, or as paedophiles call it – Christmas. Halloween is a night in the past when Evil Ex-Wife saying “I’m going to get dressed up,” took on a whole new meaning. I have to admit, I never got the fuss about Halloween, though back in the days of Myspace, I did get loads of Halloween greetings come October 31. Don’t know why. Maybe I simply had more than your average count of witches and worshippers of Satan amongst my friends in the cyber-world.

And now, thinking of witches, I was suddenly struck by a thought …

Whatever happened to Gothic Girl?

You may remember my disastrous trips to a local chip shop where Gothic Girl used to serve/poison me. I’ve only been there twice in the past six months and on both occasions, she wasn’t there. The first occasion could be explained. It was early May – Beltane. She’d most likely be celebrating but once again when I visited in the summer, she was absent.

Oh no. What if she was rumbled as a witch? I’d best go and check the local ponds. If I see a stool with a young woman head down in the water while strapped to a chair, I’ll know for certain.

I need to see her. I want to know if she has a cure for grey hair in one of those potions of hers.

On the subject of grey hair …

It was my birthday the other day. Yes, I’m now forty-nine. One away from a major milestone or as some would call it – two-thirds of the way through life. Still, I shouldn’t complain. I don’t think I do too bad for my age and maybe I should be grateful about how I look. You see, my hair is still mostly brown and more important – there. I have, however, noticed over the last year that it is taking slightly longer to grow at the same time more ends up stuck to the bath. The thatch is not as thick and more noticeably, receding at the temples. This I can get away with as the wild abandon style I adopt, covers that up. Even so, I noticed when looking in the mirror just now, more white hairs than I’m used to. Arrgghhh! Therefore, I spent about ten minutes pulling each white hair I could see. That was until I pulled one then looked and saw it was still there. Double Arrggghhh! You have white hairs, then go and pull out a good one by mistake. Not only that, it was around the thinning area I spoke of earlier. Oh no. I’ll soon look like Doctor Who did when the Master zapped him, ageing him to over 100.

Calm, calm, calmer. Deep breaths – and relax.

Ahhh … the ageing process. Isn’t it wonderful.

I remember birthdays when I was a child. You’d be up at the crack of dawn and then relish every magic moment. It meant so much back then but only in reality because you got lots of presents. As the years passed and you grew older, the special nature seemed to disappear a little bit every year until you reach where I am now and couldn’t give a toss. God, I’m a miserable bastard sometimes. These days I think birthdays just turn into something you are obligated to do, and that’s not because nobody threw me an 18th, 21st or even 40th birthday party, either. But at least when you are young, birthdays are supposed to be something to look forward to. Then you reach 30 and for some reason, it’s dreaded in a way like your life is almost over. Then you get to 40 and that seems even worse. Why? I didn’t feel any different to when I was 18.

So now, I’m one off the 50. Blimey, life is now going to feel like the holiday which seems to go much quicker once you reach the second half of the week. But at least at 50, I still have 20-30 years left, so it’s nothing to worry about. Or is it?

Hang on a minute … I remember 30 years ago as if it were yesterday. For example, I still think of Ultravox as a contemporary pop group. What do you mean, who the fucking hell are Ultravox? They’re a sort of contemporary group … from about 30 contemporary years ago.

There they are, still touring. But hang on. Even they look ancient now.

But, I digress. Another 15 years on top of 50 and I’m drawing a pension. This is when I’m supposed to do all the things I want to do, but am unfortunately too old and knackered to do so. Look, I hate bloody gardening, so don’t even suggest it. And after 65, you have a few years of all that, ‘I never know how I had time to go to work,’ crap. Then 70 arrives. Oh. – My – God! By then I’ll have rediscovered religion before it’s too late and just be praying, ‘Please God, for pity’s sake, give me another ten and I’ll be good. I’ll go to church, I won’t swear … often. Just leave me for a little bit longer, just so I can have my allotted time. Okay? Thanks.’

80 arrives. Shit, bugger, balls and blast! Now what am I going to do? Should I sell my soul to the Devil? No I flogged that years ago for a cheap thrill with a girl in the cake shop. Just give me a couple more years. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I carry on going and just about make it to 85 then realise what the term, borrowed time, means. 90 plus and it’s a case of ‘Look, I’m not being greedy, but I’d really like to make it to a hundred. I never managed to get one in cricket, so this would be adequate compensation. I think you’d agree. I wont get into trouble. I’ll try not to piss myself, dribble over people or even molest that nice nurse who looks after me (Look, she sat on my hand. Okay?). I won’t even ask for a telegram from the Queen (I never send her one, anyway). Just let me go about my business quietly and I won’t go bothering anybody. Honest, honest, hon… Croak!!!!!!!!!

Only Joking … I’m still here.

What do you mean … unfortunately? Hah!

Anyway, I’m off to prepare for Halloween and look for Gothic Girl. See … I’m all dressed up and ready.

Cheers.

Nick

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