Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nature is all bastards.

Earlier I saw a seagull pick up a smaller seagull by its tail and start chucking it about. Then I got home to find a snail on my pot of basil, felling the stem of each plant like a tiny malicious lumberjack. So I hurled him to the ground and stamped him into a paste.

I felt guilty about this for a while, but then another seagull mugged the cat for its biscuits, so I chucked some water over it, and it flew away, squawking. I stood over the cat until it had eaten its fill then went inside, muttering darkly. Later I plan on nailing crooked bits of wood over the window and hugging a shotgun while I rock backwards and forwards.

It's kill or be killed down here. Earlier someone saw at least twenty basking sharks in the bay. I don't think they were basking, I think they were planning, frowning at waterproofed maps of all the local electricity transformers. But I'm ready for them, oh yes.

More meetings in London next week. I would be looking forward to these, except I had two meetings last week. At the first I drank too much and accused all the other GW writers and producer of being 'failed performers'*, then spent the following day on Rob's sofa emerging only to be sick (something of a theme with GW writers at the moment). Then I went to another meeting only to be greeted by a severed arm in a case, which definitely hadn't been there the previous week.However I felt better by then, so was able to say 'Ah, that'll be Other James's with the correct degree of insouciance, which may have helped me win the chance to pitch for a comedic sports movie (I hate sports) with the tag of (culturally significant epic saga) retold in the setting of (ludicrously uncool not-quite-sport). It's unlikely to actually go anywhere, but at the end of the day I had a meeting in a room with a severed arm in a case, and how many people can say that?


* there was an actual proper 'sharp intake of breath' from everyone, it was great, although I feel bad now.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was a slug on my Thyme this morning, so I tied him up in a Body Shop plastic bag and threw him in the bin. I just hope the binmen come before the bag biodegrades...

M

LMS said...

Hmmmm "comedic sports movie (I hate sports) with the tag of (culturally significant epic saga) retold in the setting of (ludicrously uncool not-quite-sport)" - sounds like Blackball. Are you quite sure you want to bring back memories of that film?

(Not that I've actually seen it, so it could be a marvelous work of cinematic art).

Jen said...

You must be a wonderful drunk, James.

My cat brought me a decapitated mouse for the first time in her lazy three years this morning. I believe we've hit a milestone in our relationship. We have an apathetic atmosphere going on now.

All seagulls should be killed. I'm an animal-lover; but those things drive me up the wall.

james henry said...

I am an irritating and rude drunk - I hope I haven't painted myself as being charming and whimsical in this regard, as I'm not. Fortunately I don't get drunk very often.

Haven't seen Blackball, but saw the trailer and I'm looking to do almost completely the opposite.

Heather said...

I've been having problems with violent pigeons of late. I suspect them of having Ninja tendancies.

Sports movies can be good fun, the more cliches the better in my opinion.

James you are going to have to explain the servered arm thing in more detail though. You haven't been having meetings with the mafia have you?

james henry said...

...not that it'll happen anyway, British film are notoriously wisp-like creatures, liable to disappear so quickly, it's like they were never there in the first place.

The arm was from James's movie 'Severence' - more about it on his website.

skeadugenga said...

Apparently the collective noun for sharks is a "shiver" - important to know if you're planning a swim this weekend.

felinity said...

I saw a nature programme at the weekend (voiced, randomly, by Philippa Forrester). One sequence was a very romantic (ie mucky) one of pairs of animals being all intimate and cosy and the whole gist was about the miracle of life and birth and how springtime brings a whole heap of coital action at every level of animal life, from snails to bluetits to deer. The final shot in the sequence is a very close-up one of a snail easing its way away from its partner (full of post-coital glow, presumably), right up until it's pierced by the beak of a thrush who goes off to batter it to death.

Poignant.

Jen said...

Nature Fact: The Praying Mantis actually eats it's mate during sex.*

Yeah - you're right. Nature is all bastards. Though, lucky it's the female who eats the male.

*and that's EATS, as in it digests it later, possibly washing it all down with a minescule glass of Sancerre.

And I fall into that 'drunk category', James. Don't worry. We should totally join forces.

Lucy said...

"Nature Fact: The Praying Mantis actually eats it's mate during sex."

I want to find that funny.

Instead, I'm nothing but appalled.

Jen said...

It's disgusting, isn't it? But then, bugs in general are pretty icky. Still, it's a fact of life and we can only deal with it.

As long as noone tries to eat me I'll quite happily deal with it. And I'm not a praying mantis so I'm even safer.

Lucy said...

When I was at school, we had a Biology lesson during which we all had to go outside and collect a bunch of different insects and put them together in a petri dish. We then took them back into the classroom so we could draw and identify them. I had my face right up close to the lid when suddenly one of the bugs stormed from one side of the dish to the other and swallowed one of the other bugs whole. They were the same size as one another.

I nearly fell off my chair.

james henry said...

""Nature Fact: The Praying Mantis actually eats it's mate during sex."

I want to find that funny.

Instead, I'm nothing but appalled."



Yes, there's no apostrophe in "it's".

james henry said...

Ob blimey, I've just picked on Jen again. Sorry Jen.

Jen said...

I knew that! I couldn't bloody fix it, could I? You've hurt me, deep down, James. You're on your last chance.

:-P

I am a good speller, really I am. I just type too fast for my brain to register everything.

*strokes own ego*

patroclus said...

It's nothing but insects, grammar and bullying in here these days.

Jen said...

And...."Ob", James?

*giggles*

james henry said...

Yes. 'Ob'.

I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it.

Jen said...

Oh, of course; "Ob". Now would that be classed as a Noun, Verb, Adjective...?

*laughs* I liked that. You made me smile. :-) < see?

Anonymous said...

Apparently basking sharks are harmless - at wprst they'll give you a nasty suck

james henry said...

Yes, they live mainly on planton.

Jen said...

*resists* And they also live mainly in the sea. Or indeed the Ocean.

Richard Attenborough ain't got nothin' on us.

realdoc said...

My husband set up a snail concentration camp in a large pot. He put them all in there and then starved them. After about 3 weeks I could take no more and set them free where upon they ate the cat.

No they didn't but they destroyed all my bedding plants.I found the whole experience very distressing.

James Moran said...

Ooh, I'll have to go and have a look at that (the severed limb), haven't seen it yet. Saw the full prosthetic chest the other week, with bits carved out of it, it's really cool. Though I did manage to take home the small hatchet and the "ass knife" (yes, it's exactly what you think).

james henry said...

Quite glad I didn't see the ass knife, to be completely honest with you.

Personally, I'd have taken home that Laura Harris, but each to their own...

James Moran said...

Just a big, scary looking machete really. It's what it does in the movie that makes it the ass knife. I did ask if they had any of her clothing, underwear, or used toiletries, but they called the police and had me escorted off the premises. It was for my own good, really.

Button said...

My cat ate a snail once.
I could send her round if anyone wants her. You can keep her actually.
I found a decapitated mouse behind the sofa recently. Two days later I stood on its severed head.
I had to go for a lie down after that.

baggiebird said...

I think my garden is turning into a snail holiday spot, they are everywhere, i even found one in the privet yesterday. I think I will have to encorouge the Magpies to visit my garden more often

Button said...

My friend insists on flinging them over his garden wall onto a car park.
You can hear all the little crunches as they splatter on the tarmac. It's horrible.

Kalista said...

There's a top ten list of animals whom violence against is not cruel, but purely self defence:

Wasps- because they're psychos

Cockroches- because they're unnerving and horrid

Jellyfish- i trust no animal whose reproductive organs are in its head

and whilst we're on the nature fact front, did you know that a slug has a shell too, but it's internal. The mind boggles.

Re types of drunk: I'm a complimentary drunk, I have to tell everyone how lovely they are when I've had a few too many. Though this only happens if I drink pimms. If I drink vodka I get very angry and sullen, and wine makes me fall asleep.

cello said...

We're all failed performers. Life is just one long failed performance.

Button said...

The only creature I can think of that I find truly revolting and worthy of that top ten is the Clawed Toad.
I generally rather like frogs and toads but this one floats around on the water looking all bloated and gloopy and dead and lulls you into a (slighty repulsed) false sense of security then suddenly springs to life malevolent and red eyed and evil.
Scared the hell out of me at the zoo. I actually screamed and hid behind my mother.
Shameful.

Word Verification - 'qskvjdxb'
the sound I made when the little amphibious freaks lunged at me

rob said...

We're all failed performers. Life is just one long failed performance. cello

What no-one bothered to tell James is that we might equally be considered failed writers. However, none of us is dead yet, so there's still time to make our mark.

What I'd quite like is for James to own up to what it was that provoked his astonishing outburst.
I think everyone would then agree that he had to act as he did.

Terri Nixon said...

I was listening to Steve Wright's "factoids" the other day and he did mention which insect had the biggest sexual organ, related to its size, of any creature. Unfortunately I can't remember what the creature was, and just as I was about to write my "would like to come back in the next life as ..." list too.
Arse.

Seagulls scare me, and they nick my fish and chips without even pretending to look guilty. Padstowe seagulls are the worst, smug bastards. Jonathan Livinstone is probably excluded from my seagull issues, but I can't promise anything.

James Moran said...

Isn't it the liver fluke, which has two enormous testicles which pretty much fill its entire body? Enormous if you're a liver fluke, obviously. Laughably tiny to big men like me! Hahahaha! Stupid little liver flukes with their tiny balls!

leonie said...

yes, james, tell us what provoked your drunken ramblings.


and, rob, how dare you suggest you are all failed writers when the whole world (THE WHOLE WORLD, i say, ALL OF IT) worships at the altar of green wing?

cello said...

I thought you were trying to join the Failed Performers' Club, anyway, James. Maybe that's why you were a bit snitty.

I didn't mean my comment to sound so negative and fatalistic, by the way. More that failed performers are stoical - courageous even.

And I suspect that failed performers are a lot easier to live with than successful ones.

I'm afraid you can't hide behind being failed writers, Rob. BAFTA and RTS nominations rather blow that cover.

james henry said...

I think, I think (but I was a bit pissed then, and I'm slightly pissed now truth be told), that everyone was taking photographs of everyone else in the garden, and I was getting annoyed, as I don't photograph well unless I have TOTAL CREATIVE CONTROL, and so I was sulking a bit, and then everyone was all 'ooh, james is sulking' and then the outburst.

Unless it was something else.

Don't ask for the photographic results by the way, I smashed the camera and forcibly fed the pieces to Ori, which is why she was later sick in the Ivy.

And then I wrote this comment and realised Cello had commented in the interim, and now I'm all confused. Ooh bed.

Anonymous said...

oooh, this is interesting - why would having your photo taken put anyone in the 'failed performers’ category? Need a 2nd opinion from an eye witness. On the photo front, one whiff of anyone holding a camera, and I duck behind the nearest cushion, person, shrubbery...

woot said...

I also hide from cameras. Except when drunk. Which is quite alot recently...

Anonymous said...

With regards the large penis comment - it's the barnacle.

Which would make me look all knowledgable but I'm going to follow that by saying that I'm a touchy-feely drunk and so will post this anonymously just in case...

James, pissed photos always look bad anyway.

Steve Dix said...

Basking Sharks are the 2CV-driving knit-your-own-muesli-sweater vegetarians of the shark world. They lead very solitary lives because all the other sharks laugh at them and don't allow them to join in shark games.

They feed on plankton, as do the biggest sharks in the world - the whale shark. They couldn't even give you a nasty suck.

leonie said...

well, they might be harmless, but they still look quite impressive.

also quite odd, really. look at that nose.

http://new-brunswick.net/new-brunswick/sharks/species/basking.html

realdoc said...

I once had a close encounter with a basking shark your brain may be telling you they have no teeth but your bladder doesn't believe it.