Thursday, 23 September 2010

I'm With Stupid

Dressing your offspring in slogan t-shirts can be a minefield. I dress Louis in all manner of rock and roll paraphenalia, even though he doesn't give a toss about guitars. But be careful - some sartorial decisions could damage your child and make you look like a total moron...


In Mothercare/Primark etc you can't move for kid's clothes that say 'MY DAD'S IN PRISON', 'I'm A LITTLE SHIT' and 'MY FIRST COURT APPEARANCE'. Clothes with the words 'Trouble', 'Noisy', 'Naughty' and 'Terror' emblazoned across them are not cute - they just re-affirm everybody's belief that your badly behaved kid is going to end up in a young offenders institute after being caught driving a stolen Vauxhall Nova through the window of William Hill.


Parents, ask yourself this. Does your kid actually like the Ramones? Or does he like the theme tune to Spongebob? Think for a minute and act accordingly.

'Damn you, Joey, Dee-Dee and those two other ones!'


Daddy has very little to do with the whole birthing process, but he's made to feel included after the event via the medium of children's clothing. Therefore Daddy this and Daddy that is written all over every single baby gro and burp cloth in the world. Other more pertinent slogans might include: 'Daddy, would it kill you to do the dishes once in a while?' or 'Daddy's on Chatroulette talking to dirty ladies.'


When rich people aren't dressing their kids like characters from a Bret Easton Ellis novel or sending them to boarding school, they like to put them in 'casual' designer tees which cost £200. Note: making a ginger kid wear a yellow Ed Hardy t-shirt is child abuse.


Aspirational parents love to project their desires onto their children, sending them to an endless round of French/ballet/Suzuki violin lessons. So it's good to plant some subliminal career propaganda on a t-shirt as early as possible. 'Please don't let him be a binman' the parents of this kid are silently screaming, as their baby tries to eat yet another copy of Dear Zoo.

Or how about this? No pressure, like.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Remember when you used to get a goody bag at the end of a party, rather than a hangover and an STD? I still have feelings for a 2B pencil I got at Natalie Strugnell's party that was prematurely snatched away from me by my Mum because it contained lead (I mean, like DUH). I also remember with great affection this rubbery little yellow thing you squeezed in between your fingers and it popped across the room. (These were simpler times -back then people used to have a heart attack when the phone rang or there was more than one programme on the telly). Yes, no matter that the birthday boy or girl was a bitchy, ratty little stinker or that someone peed in the jelly or that somebody dislocated their shoulder during Pass the Parcel- the goody bag was always the saving grace.

Now, of course children's party goody bags have to be filled with guest passes for Disneyworld, Nintendo DSs and ipods emblazoned with pink or blue Swarovski crystals. Depending on how Sam Cam your friends are, you can come home with anything from a Slinky to a Swiss chalet style Wendy house in Val D'Isere with a built-in Smeg fridge. But no matter what the income bracket of the party-giver's parents, the goody bag staples of bubbles, sweets and a couple of balloons is still going strong. It's a tradition. Bit of harmless fun, isn't it?
Or is it?
The other day Louis went to a party and in his goody bag, he got this:

Now call me picky, but I wouldn't have thought a DEVIL SPERM BALLOON was particularly appropriate for a children's party. What next? Gary Glitter stickers? Comedy tits? A subscription to Asian Babes?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

mo' money, mo' imaginary problems

No matter how much I try to convince myself that I want to live like a true bohemian - be more political, recycle more, produce free spirited children with wild hair, drink coffee out of jam jars in my studio, occasionally have a random exhibition of my belly button fluff in Berlin - there is always a little voice in my head which says: 'Fuck it. I want to win the lottery. I want to roll about in my private jet eating gold-plated Mars Bars with Kanye West on a rug made out of OWL BABIES.'

Yesterday I caught myself doing Lottery Maths. This always happens when I'm overdrawn, which I have been ever since Louis started demanding things like food, childcare and shoes. First, I imagine a nice chunky lottery win. This is harder than it seems. Too much and I have to give £50 million to Medicin San Frontiers before I can even start thinking about Mulberry handbags and diamond teeth. Too little and obviously I run out of cash before I can even sign the invisible deeds on the imaginary villa in Tuscany.

My perfect number is about £979,000, which means I don't have to feel guilty about having millionaire status, I can afford a house, a modest holiday home, and there'll be enough left to buy shitloads of Timorous Beasties wallpaper and Swedish designer chandeliers. It terms of social status it'll probably put me up there with a Primrose Hill Yummy Mummy. Along with the tasteful designer labels, I might even be able to afford a spot of drug/self harm hell - enough to write a tedious autobiography about it anyway. (By the way, you must read it - she manages to recount her downward spiral into heroin abuse AND boast about her en-suite at the same time).

Obviously, I won't be sprinkling smack on my Whole Foods quinoa salad and waking up covered in hemp seeds and vomit in time to collect Rollo and Pilates from the Steiner School. Money won't turn my head that much. But I might book myself the odd vigorous session with a Swedish masseur, and of course, I will be buying this and filling it with the finest Chateau Lafitte money can buy.

But then the guilt sets in. I didn't give any money to starving people. My family will still be living in their old houses, plagued by noisy neighbours and leaking taps. There will be recriminations, resentments - people will laugh at my diamond teeth! How will I look tramps in the eye as I sweep past them with my designer baubles? How will I look my friends in the eye as I tell them about that chic little wine bar in Cannes? How will Louis get on at boarding school while I'm skiing? Will he be permanently damaged and start wearing loafers and his collars turned up on his shirts?

It's a good job I never actually buy a lottery ticket.