Donald & Michael

Donald sat in his office, the point of his tie resting in his crotch. His mother had always told him that the longer your tie, the more manly you were. All those sad losers at school that had made fun of him were just peddling fake information. When he came home crying, his mother had wiped the tears from his cheeks and patted his head. This had gone on for his entire school life, but he had just laughed off the jibes.

Now, as a grown man at the top of career, nobody made fun of his tie. He turned to his computer screen and began the lengthy process of reading his emails after returning from a golfing weekend. He scanned the subject titles for anything that indicated something even remotely interesting. He got bored very quickly, so he picked up his phone and told his secretary to bring him coffee. While he waited, he went back to the emails, but his attention span was still shorter than his finger nails. After what felt like ages, the door opened and his secretary came in with his coffee in his favourite mug – the one with the American flag on it. He stood up and placed his hand on his heart, much to the surprise of his secretary.

“Sir?” she queried.

“I’m showing respect for the flag. The flag and the country. The flag, the country, and the war veterans who fought and died for the flag.”

“But I didn’t know you were American?”

“Oh, yeah I am. Totally American. Born and bred in New York.”

“But your company biography says you were born in Guildford.”

“FAKE NEWS!” Donald yelled, causing his secretary to jump and spill coffee into the tray. “That is fake news.”

“But you wrote the biography yourself,” she said, dabbing spilt coffee with napkins.

“That’ll do,” Donald snapped, taking the cup of coffee from the tray and setting it down on a coaster. He shooed his secretary out of the room.

He was just finishing his coffee when his door opened. He looked up to see his deputy, Michael poke his head through.

“Hey, can I come in?”

Donald smiled and nodded. He liked Michael. He was friendly, warm, and did exactly as he was told. He had done a good job when he hired Michael.

“So, Donald,” Michael started before he stopped suddenly and stood bolt upright, his hand on his heart and began singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ with gusto. Donald stood up and mirrored Michael, looking at him like a proud parent looks at a child that has done something well. After he finished, Michael relaxed and approached Donald’s desk.

“That’s a great mug, boss,” he congratulated Donald.

“Thanks, Michael,” Donald grinned smugly. “Can I get you a drink?”

“I’m good, boss, thanks,” Michael shook his head.

“What can I do for you?” Donald sat down, and motioned for Michael to take the seat opposite. Michael swept forward and sat down, resting his right ankle on his left knee, exposing his rather jazzy American flag socks. Donald stood up and began singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’, Michael jumped up and they both sang together.

Donald’s secretary came in with an armful of papers, placed them on the corner of Donald’s desk and left the room, shaking her head in bemusement.

Singing over, the two men sat down again and Michael explained to Donald that the Finance Director had been making some off-colour remarks about him in the country club. Donald was incensed.

“What did the son of a bitch say about me?”

“Well,” Michael hesitated. “allegedly, he was heard calling you a dumbass moron.”

“That two-faced, four eyed jerk. You can’t be a dumbass and a moron.”

“Absolutely, boss.” Michael nodded.

“Well, I’ll show him!” Donald hissed. “When is our next board meeting?”

“Friday, sir.”

“Right, you get an IQ test, and we’ll do that on Friday. And I’ll show that son of a bitch who’s a moron.”

“You got it.”

“And then we can hit that golf course Friday afternoon and he’ll be put right in his place.”

Michael stood up and shook Donald’s hand. Once Michael had left, Donald sat down and started searching the internet for IQ questions and answers.

At lunchtime, Donald and Michael met up and went to Subway. As they headed into the shop, Donald noticed the NFL logo on a poster. He stopped suddenly, and Michael accidentally bumped into him, pushing Donald forward and pressing him against the glass door, frightening a small girl who was sat with her parents inside, innocently eating a sandwich.

“What’s up boss?” Michael stood back.

“That NFL logo. Some of those guys won’t stand for our anthem. Really gets me wound up.” Donald ranted.

“Yeah, they certainly got no respect.”

“Well, I’m not going to eat in a place that supports the NFL.” Donald decided. “Let’s find somewhere else.”

“Actually, boss, I’m kind of hungry.” Michael pleaded.

“Well, you can go in then. But promise me you’ll leave before you get your sandwich?” Donald asked him.

“Sure thing. You got it!” Michael nodded. Donald smiled and watched Michael go through the door, then he went into the Pret A Manger next door. He was impressed when Michael showed up, a few minutes later, looking hungry. Donald gave him one of his own sandwiches and watched as Michael stuffed it in his mouth whole, then struggled to chew and swallow with a mouth full of salmon and cucumber sandwich.

Donald spent the rest of the afternoon looking up IQ tests on the internet and planning the downfall of the Finance Director. He was interrupted occasionally by phone calls, and eventually lost his temper and yelled at his secretary to hold all his calls for the rest of the day. Then on a trip to the toilet, he accidentally caught the end of his tie in his trouser zip without knowing. He really didn’t like it when he could hear people laughing at him behind his back, even more so when he didn’t know why they were laughing.

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The Saturday Shuffle – Week 11

Another Saturday means another shuffle extravaganza is upon us. Thanks to the magic of technology, I’m actually busy doing something else right now, but here are the five tracks my phone shuffle threw up this week (not literally, of course)…

  1. Grown Ocean – The Fleet Foxes. Another of my favourite bands, the Fleet Foxes are just brilliant. This is the last track from their second album, ‘Helplessness Blues’, and it’s a treat.
  2. The World Tonight – Paul McCartney. Remember when it was the cool thing to mock Mr McCartney for ‘selling out’? Well, the Beatles Anthology thing came along and the next year, we got his ‘Flaming Pie’ album full of groovy tracks like this.
  3. Simple – Nick Harper. More of the magnificent Mr Harper. This is a simple song about simple stuff. It’s a little over-produced (I’m a sucker for his live act), but still a great song.
  4. Across The Universe – The Beatles. Carrying on with yet another brilliant song, this is one of John Lennon’s spiritual tracks written during the Rishikesh stay when they were all seeking a meaning to everything. There is a sub-standard cover version currently doing the rounds on a Samsung advert.
  5. Return To Sender – Elvis Presley. Remember the days when you had to write a letter to people in order to tell them things? Well, this is a song about writing to that special someone, only for the damned letters to come back to you, unopened. Call it unrequited love, or maybe just a crap postman…

And that is the end of that. With the start of the football season now upon us, this is the last shuffle for the time being – my Saturday afternoons will be filled with avoiding football…

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 10

Well, stone me if it isn’t Saturday again already! Since the last post, I’ve turned 37, and today is my first wedding anniversary. And now on with the shuffling…

  1. Driftwood – Travis. One of their singles from the successful second album, ‘The Man Who’. If I’m honest, I preferred the first album…
  2. I Went To The Store One Day – Father John Misty. If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve been raving about this guy since last year. Josh Tillman’s post-Fleet Foxes alter-ego, Father John Misty has soul, style and panache. Plus he writes some pretty awesome tunes. This is the album closer of ‘I Love You Honey Bear’ and it’s melancholic and beautiful.
  3. Familiar Love – William Shatner. You’re probably thinking ‘What the fuck?!’ But bear with me, even though it’s spoken word, it’s done brilliantly. His delivery suits the song, and it’s like he’s regaling you with stories from his life, albeit to a backing track.
  4. Empire – Kasabian. The title track and single from the second album. It’s a foot stomping, sing-along anthem type song. Probably still one of their best songs to-date.
  5. Jump Into The Fire – Harry Nillson. Another foot-stomping, head-nodding beast of a tune to finish. Brought to my attention thanks to the iconic ‘Goodfellas’, this featured in the film – if you’ve seen it, it’s the section of the film “Sunday May 11th” – Henry Hill’s manic day that starts with a line of coke and finishes in police custody.

There’s your five for today. A pretty eclectic collection if you ask me! Until next time…

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 9

Hello Saturday! And Saturday means Shuffle time.

  1. Sorrow – David Bowie. What can I say about David Bowie that you don’t already know? Nothing…
  2. By My Side – Kasabian. One of the less well-known Kasabian songs off their second album – ‘Empire’. I think you can call it an ‘album filler’. Some think the band are overrated, others disagree. I would say I’m comfortably on the fence.
  3. Get Rhythm – Johnny Cash. The Man in Black. A legend. One from the end of the fifties with, well, rhythm!
  4. Way Into Your Heart – The Hummingbirds. I’m biased here, but this band from Liverpool are pretty damned good. This track is off their album ‘Pieces of You’ and is quite low-key and has a Country-style twang to it. Highly recommended listening.
  5. Black Or White – Michael Jackson. A bit of Jacko to finish, then. Maybe they should play this song to all the American cops before they go out on patrol to teach them a bit of racial harmony!!

And that’s your five for today. Before you know it, it’ll be Saturday again! Although it’s not just any Saturday next time – it’s my 1st Wedding Anniversary. Time flies, huh?!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 8

As if by magic (bad magic at that), we are at the end of another week. Half way through the month already, which means two things – firstly it’ll soon be the kids’ summer holidays, and secondly it’s my birthday. Whoop! Whoop! Right, on with the business of shuffling…

  1. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson. Remember when it was uncool to like Jacko because of the court cases and rumours? I admit I stopped listening to him, but only after ‘Earth Song’ – he went a bit shit. This is a cool song, from the ‘Bad’ album, of that there is no doubt.
  2. Always On My Mind – Elvis Presley. Ah, the King. A song with such random cover versions as The Pet Shop Boys and Mike Reid (yes, he of Frank Butcher fame), this is by far the best. A tidy love song.
  3. Where Ya Going? – Gomez. A band I lost touch with, but recently re-connected with and discovered a treasure trove of awesomeness. This features Ben Ottewell’s distinctive gravelly voice (he’s had the same voice for, like, nearly twenty years) and a dirty guitar sound.
  4. Thriller – Michael Jackson. The song that defined his career. It’s got funk, it’s got soul, and it’s got horror icon Vincent Price’s macabre spoken ending. And that video!! *insert evil laugh*
  5. Message In A Bottle – The Police. We finish off with a sting in the tail. See what I did there?! Yeah, okay, it’s a bit of a ‘dad joke’. I once got a message in a bottle – it was a beer bottle, and the message said “drink responsibly”…

And that’s the end for today. Until next week!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 7

Here we go again, dear readers.

  1. Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon. Bond themes. Some are memorable, some less so. This one from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ possibly falls into the latter category. Maybe because the song isn’t named after the film, so you forget about it compared to, say, ‘Goldfinger’, or more recently, ‘Skyfall’. In spite of this, it’s not a bad song!
  2. Something – The Beatles. The greatest love song ever written? It would certainly be in the top three. But that’s just my opinion. Even Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, said it was the greatest Lennon and McCartney song. Something that George Harrison found funny, considering he actually wrote it!
  3. Let Them Talk – Hugh Laurie. Another bit of Laurie (minus the Fry – see what I did there?!) The only slight niggle is the American accent that now seems second nature to him as a result of his lengthy stint on US television. You’re English, Hugh, dammit!
  4. Dark Horse – George Harrison. Speaking of George Harrison, here’s one from his solo career post-Beatles. It’s a cool song, and quite clever, because if you think about it, he was the dark horse of the Beatles.
  5. Sound Of Drums – Kula Shaker. Some mock-Indian nineties indie rock to finish the week. Remember Kula Shaker? This is from the second album which may not be a well known a their debut which featured the likes of ‘Hey Dude’ and ‘Govinda’. I have the best of album, and let me tell you, they produced some bloody good songs. This is one of them.

And that’s the end of another shuffle. See you next week for more.

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 6

You know that feeling you get when you suddenly remember something you’re supposed to do, while you’re in the middle of something else you probably could do without doing? No? Me neither… Anyway, on with today’s shuffle!

  1. Fitter Happier – Radiohead. Well, there’s been a bit of a Radiohead renaissance in the Moore household thanks to their Glastonbury appearance and the 20th anniversary re-release of OK Computer. This is from the aforementioned masterpiece. The Stephen Hawking-esque spoken word track serves as a quick breather before the album continues to blow your socks off.
  2. She Belongs To Me – Bob Dylan. Another track from Bob’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ album. It’s short and sweet.
  3. I Shall Be Free, No 10 – Bob Dylan. Mr Dylan, again. This is from ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’, probably one of his less acclaimed albums that falls in between his ‘The Times They Are A-Changing’ record and the much more well-known ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ release. It’s just Bob, his guitar and harmonica and what you would hope is an un-rehearsed stream of nonsense lyric!
  4. Nutbush City Limits – Ike & Tina Turner. A bit of a foot stomper to get the blood pumping in case the previous two sent you to sleep! According to Wikipedia (you always have to be careful) Nutbush is the birthplace of Tina Turner. I’ve learned something today…
  5. The Death Of You And Me – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The first single released by Noel in his new ‘solo’ guise. It’s very much like ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’ from the Oasis album ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’, which isn’t a bad thing, because that’s quite a good song, as is this. You’ve got Noel, guitars, and brass. It’s a heady mix, but it bloody well works.

And that is that. I hope you enjoyed this latest musical journey, and will be back next week for more??!!