Archive for March, 2004

blogjam kitten doctor

Anyone searching Google for kittens is presented with a truly fantastic first page of results, full of genuine Internet classics. There’s Bonsai Kitten, perhaps the most successful spoof site ever, still succeeding in luring animal rights activists into bouts of indignant, incandescent rage. Of course there’s a couple of entries from the mighty Joel Veitch, a man who turned the art of musical animal animation into a multi-billion dollar business empire. There’s the feline popularity site Rate My Kitten, first mentioned in these very pages way back in May 2002. You’ll also find Rob Manuel’s Top 10 Cutest Kittens feature, which has very little to do with kittens at all and should on no account be visited during office hours. Whoops, too late.

My own Random Kitten Generator is hanging in there too, still generating 35,000 page impressions per day more than two years after going online. One side-effect of this popularity is that the more casual Internet surfer, the kind of browser either looking to buy kittens or obtain advice relating to kitten-kind, tends to end up writing to me, as if I’m some kind of genuine kitten authority. Here’s this week’s examples.

I resent lost my cat of 13 yrs, and I want a kitten now. My other cat is a little over 5 yrs, and he wants a playmate, I live outside of Philadelphia Pa.

I am trying to find an orange kitty for my daughter. She has been wanting on for a bit. My husband and I have decided it’s okay. If you have any orange Kittens please let me know. I would really appreciate it. Than you

A friend of ours had a momma cat and it had died a couple days after giving birth to 4 baby kittens
and we were giving 1 of the babies. Now how do we go about making the kitty eat.We bought a baby bottle and some formula and he will not eat.I’m worried and need to know if you can tell me what to do…

Naturally enough, I answer all these queries as ably as I can, informing the writers of pet stores or animal refuges in their locale or, as in the last case, suggesting the use of a syringe (after carefully removing the needle and placing it in the appropriate receptacle) to complete the troublesome task.

It’s as if I’m some kind of Kitten God, dispensing information to those most in need. I think I like this power. I may even start a Church.

biscuits over baghdad


My sister arrived safely back in the UK this morning, having had to take evasive action to bypass a gun battle at Fallujah yesterday in which 14 people were tragically killed. More happily, she returned from battle with some biscuits made by the Iraq Sweets and Biscuits Industry Co. Ltd of Baghdad. Needless to say, I shall be forwarding one of the packets to the good people at nicecupofteaandasitdown to undergo extensive forensic analysis. I look forward to their report.

me & princess diana

Ten things that happened to me as a cycle courier in London, circa 1990 and thereabouts:

1. I collected an autographed cricket bat from The Oval and delivered it to Lords. In the pouring rain. By the time I’d got there the signatures of the entire West Indies touring party had vanished.
2. I gave Princess Diana the wrong directions. Her car stopped next to me on Marylebone High Street, and the detective accompanying our Queen of Hearts asked where Marylebone Lane was. I sent them off in the direction of Paddington. The small delay I caused may well have been a contributing factor to her death. You never know.
3. I was buff. Sixty miles a day will do that.
4. The first year, I worked for a very good company and took home more money each month than I do now. After I’d taken a break and returned for a second bite at the cherry, the industry had collapsed, I ended up working for a bunch of cowboys, and suffered accordingly.
5. I took the script of “Carry On Columbus” to a private address near Regents Park. The door was answered by Barbara Windsor. She didn’t appear in the movie.
6. I once shouted at a pedestrian on High Holborn for stepping out in front of me. He responded by calmly pulling out a gun, pointing it at my face, holding my gaze for a few seconds before casually replacing it and wandering off.
7. 10 Downing Street. Delivered there twice, ushered past the gates and up to the front door on both occasions. The second time was my favourite, as I’d just fixed a puncture and my fluorescent Butthole Surfers t-shirt was covered in grease. I had hair down to my waist. I looked great.
8. Opposite the old Daily Mirror Building at Holborn Circus. Riding behind a girl as she went under the wheels of a bus. Not a pretty site. It can be a bitch of a junction when you’re on two wheels attempting to turn right into New Fetter Lane.
9. For a while I had a regular job collecting hard-core pornographic videos from a shop in Soho and delivering them to a mysterious clinic in Farringdon, where a middle aged gentleman in a white coat would dutifully sign for the package and disappear into a dimly lit ward in the back, where I could make out a number of patients lying in bed watching television.
10. Euston Road, and the rain is almost tropical. The black cab in front of me stops suddenly, but my brakes don’t work on the greasy tarmac, and I slam into his boot. I’m thrown onto the roof of the car, but I’m unhurt. The bike is not so lucky. I take it to a shop for repair, but decide that evening to not bother going back to retrieve it. The next day, I got a job at a record company.

Next week: sacked by McDonalds.

spot the difference

My sister’s weblog is getting quite exciting. As I write she’ll be driving across the Western Desert from Amman towards the Iraqi border. This is the same journey recently undertaken by Matthew Parris in the Sunday Times (registration required):

Every hazard has left its visible toll. Desert shows its scars forever; nothing grows back, and the roadscape is a sort of statistician?s chart. The burnt-out hulks of tyres, trailers and whole cars are a common sight to either side; even more chilling are the hundreds of simple scorched black patches in the dust ? wreckage and bodies long removed. If roads could speak, what stories could they tell!

She’s also been promised the opportunity to spend some quality time mastering an AK47.

Today, meanwhile, I went to the shops and watched some television.

famous friendsters

Random famous people on Friendster: you’ll need to be logged in to view these pages:

Franz Ferdinand.
Courtney Love.
David Letterman.
Graham Norton.
Bernard Manning.
Damon Albarn (who has somehow wormed his way into my social network).
Justine Frischmann
Richard Ashcoft.
Davina McCall.
Avid Merrion.
Robert Smith (also in my social network, although we haven’t spoken in years).
Nick Cave.
P.J. Harvey.
Cliff Richard.
Stephen Hawking.
Billy Corgan.
Woody Harrelson.
Jack White (in my social network).
Meg White (not in my social network).

Disclaimer: many of these famous people are liable to be non-famous people pretending to be famous people. Apart from the Billy Corgan one. I think that’s real.


As promised, I’m now able to bring you the very first edition of my sister’s weblog, in which she’ll be posting news from Baghdad. She’s not actually left the country yet, but hell… don’t let me spoil the fun… go and read it for yourself.

blogjam down under

Rather like Starbucks or McDonalds, blogjam is branching out internationally, and I’m very pleased to be able to announce the opening of the Australian franchise, which can be found within the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald. Bonzer.