Tag Archives: McDonalds


You’re not going to believe what didn’t happen to me last night.

I couldn’t sleep and I’m fed up with that so I rummaged around in the dark for a sleeping tablet, swallowed it and went back to bed.

Half an hour later I was just completely wide awake and extra fed up because I’d deployed my back-up plan, clearly to no avail.

Half an hour after this I started to feel a bit unusual until, wait a minute, the running-through of my send-anyone-to-sleep shopping list was accompanied by some suspiciously pleasant blood currents.

I turned over on my back and realised I was smiling and ohmygod, are you kidding me? I’d only gone and dropped an ecstasy pill by mistake.

I did a bit of silent chortling and head-shaking at the preposterousness of the situation before investing in a few minutes to consider what I should do next.

There aren’t a lot of these sleeping-pill-esque fellows tucked deep inside my jewellery box, which is to say there aren’t any so it must have been very, very old.

Still doing it’s stuff though: ‘Quite impressive,’ said I to the imaginary supplier, who was gratified by the praise.

All the same, don’t think I need to tip up at A & E.

Also don’t think I fancy creeping around downstairs with Frank Sinatra on volume 1 (he’s what’s in the record player).

I’m just going to have to find me some action, thought I.

Not wanting to disturb the family, I groped around for some clothes (I know- you would have thought I’d learnt the value of lighting by now!) and left the house ready to party.

I did not look hot.

I wanted to run down the street but the Acton police are always on the look out for that sort of thing so instead I took big sideways steps, occasionally turning around, like in football practice; it felt good.

I wasn’t sure where I was heading but the bus is so goddam convenient right at the end of the road, it seemed churlish not to wait.

There was an ordinary lady there looking at me strangely (I was swinging around the bus stop but I kept catching my head on the timetable).

‘LOVE this jumper,’ I said, tugging on her sleeve. ‘Where’s it from?’

‘Germany,’ she said, which I thought was weird, even under the circumstances.

Once on the bus I scanned the Askew Road to see what was going down: not an enormous deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Lebanese flatbread, but C’mon! Where are the youth?!

We stopped outside Bruno’s school and for a moment I thought it was Winter and early in the morning and I’d left him at home. ‘Phew!’ I said to the drunk next to me. ‘Now THAT would have been irresponsible’.

Soon we were in Hammersmith. It’s not Party Central but it’s quite densely populated and recently they’ve renovated the Lyric Theatre rooftop and put wicker and grasses up there so check it out before you judge.

I leapt off the bus, trying to land on the most fun piece of pavement I could see and skipped down King Street, listening out for some tunes.

I’m going to cut a long, huge-pupilled story short here because I didn’t really find anything.

But I did chat a while to some Korean students. I said I was practising my English on them and kept asking if I could plait the girl’s hair. They both had great auras.

I also took a turn around McDonald’s. I enjoyed the green in there and slurped a milkshake, sitting in a Big Brother chair watching the staff ask all the ‘small or large’ questions. There’s not that many places where the staff is an overwhelmingly superior species to the customers and I don’t think you have to be high to realise it.

I knew the methylenedioxymethamphetamine was wearing off when I felt disappointed the post office was closed and I couldn’t get ahead of the game by posting off a birthday card so I thought, well, it’s been a good evening, maybe I should call it a night.

It was a mellow meander I had back up the road at 4.30 a.m. on a Thursday morning.

I felt benevolent and would have appreciated sitting in one of those massage chairs at airports, set on vigorous vibrate.

I let myself back in, ate a tube of smarties and snuggled back into bed, resuming that list, adding, ‘sweet potatoes’ to it at the end.

Then I felt sleep washing over me with time for just one last thought: What are you like, you silly old 80’s bint?!


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The Story Of The Dead Dog

In New York City, in a roomful of girls one Valentine’s night, my throaty friend Heather put down her cocktail and re-lived this, the story of the dead dog.

So me and my friend Shauna used to get into all kindsa crazy trouble and there was this one night in Seattle when she was stayin’ at my place and we go to Queen Anne to this dive bar called Ozzie’s to sing karaoke.

We get to the bar and there’s this sketchy guy in there carryin’ this tiny little dog and Shauna starts chattin’ to him and we’re havin’ drinks and shootin’ the breeze.

Then this guy tells Shauna he’s gonna go get some smokes so she says, Ok, and off he goes with the dog.

Well, he buys the smokes and he puts down the dog to get one out and the next thing you know a taxi clips the corner and takes the fuckin’ dog out.

Then there’s all sortsa shoutin’ and commotion and suddenly this guy’s back in the bar cradlin’ this dog like before only now the dog’s dead and there’s blood runnin’ down the guy’s stark white shirt.

And the guy’s howlin’ and cryin’ and callin’ out for Shauna.

But Shauna’s in the bathroom, so this guy’s standin’ in the middle of the bar with the dog and everyone’s lookin’ at him and he’s howlin’ and it seems to go on for ages and no-one’s takin’ control.

So I say, Dude, I’m sorry for your loss but you need to get the dead chihuaha out of the fuckin’ bar. It’s totally bringin’ down the vibe.

Then Shauna comes outta the bathroom and sees the guy and cries out, Oh my god, Oh my god, What happened to your dog? and there’s more wailin’ and ruccous before another guy steps in.

And I’m thinkin’ maybe he knows the dog guy but instead he walks up to him and slaps him in the face and says, Pull your shit together, man; it’s a douche-bag dog.

So the guy and the dog and some of the people from the bar go outside and I guess Shauna’s feelin’ kinda emotional coz she just lost two dogs of her own so she’s with them and she’s holdin’ the dog and she’s cryin’.

And it’s lookin’ up at her with these wide-open eyes that can’t see any more so she starts tryin’ to close ’em.

But the eyes won’t shut so she’s pushin’ ’em down and they’re poppin’ back up and she’s pushin’ ’em down and they’re poppin’ right back up again.

And it’s really kinda disturbin’ coz she’s callin’ out to the guy, Jesus wants your dog, Jesus wants your dog, Go to Jesus, little doggy, and tryin’ to get the fuckin’ dog’s eyes to close.

Course there’s so much noise that people start gatherin’ ’round and the dude’s still wailin’ and then like from out of a movie or somethin’ two hippy stoner dudes appear from nowhere and come skatin’ down the hill carryin’ bunches of wild flowers.

And they see a crowd of people around this dead dog and so they stop and lay down the flowers and soon everyone’s havin’ a moment’s silence and there’s this little impromptu doggy funeral outside the fuckin’ karaoke bar.

Next up, this police car comes drivin’ by and it sees this group of people and stops to investigate. So the cop hears the story and takes the details and gives Shauna a little yellow HazMat body bag, which she lays the dog in and starts rollin’ up like a frickin’ burrito.

And I’m thinkin’, This is off the scale, man, I swear-to-God, this is one freaky-ass evening, I’m goin’ back inside the bar. So in I go.

Then 10 minutes later this guy comes up to me and says, I think you need to go find your friend. She took off with the dead dog guy and he’s a total tweaker. He hasn’t been to bed for 2 days straight and he just lost his pet so I think you’d better go get her.

So I start freakin’ out coz she doesn’t have a cell and I don’t know where he lives so I’m chasin’ all over tryin’ to find her and eventually she gets on a phone and says, Heather, you have to come get me. I’m in this dude’s apartment and it’s totally messed up.

So I ask her if he’s there and she says, No, and I say, Where is he? and she says he’s gone to buy a beer because they decided to go bury the dog and he needs a beer to bury the dog.

So I jump in a cab and go to the apartment and Shauna was right, the dude is a serious crackhead- McDonalds boxes and food and shit piled high on every surface.

I use my arm to clear a space on the coffee table for the yellow bag and I put the dead dog there and I say to Shauna, We gotta get outta here. And she’s sayin’, No, we can’t, the dude’s not gonna get closure with the chihuaha if we leave. But there’s no way we can stay, I say, If we stay we’re gonna rot. And  if we leave, she says, the dog is gonna rot, for sure.

And I’m tryin’ to talk her round to bailin’ but she’s feelin’ for the dog so there’s only one thing for it, right?

We grab the yellow bag and bolt as fast as we can because we don’t know which way the tweaker guy went and we don’t want him to catch us stealin’ his dead pet.

When we get home I put the yellow bag on my coffee table and we sit and look at it and I tell Shauna I can’t deal any more so we call it a night and we crash.

Then in the morning the sun’s shinin’ and I’m wakin’ up slowly and walkin’ through to the kitchen and Shauna’s on the sofa openin’ her eyes and we both see the yellow bag and look at each other in the same way, like, that was for fuckin’ real?

So I have to get on the phone and tell my work I’m not comin’ in coz I have to handle some personal issues and then I ring ’round Seattle tryin’ to find a restin’ place for the dead dog.

And I find this vet in Eastlake and I take the strange dude’s deceased chihuaha in and I say, This yellow bag was on my friend’s coffee table, then on my coffee table and is now on your coffee table. It contains the body of a dog who passed away last night and now I would really like for you to cremate it.

And she did.

And I went home.

And that, ladies, is the story of the dead dog.

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In an area the size of Kazakhstan, in a faraway land called White City, a mystical dome has sprung.

Filled with the promise of a fragrant bathroom, a smaller rear, a set of peepers without shadows underneath, it sends out an echoey whisper to every sentient being in Europe with a wallet:

‘Cooooooooooeeeeeeee… Come to paradise… Credit cards are not real money…Yes, you can buy love…’

For only wretches devoid of hope or filled with fear can be immune to its charms.

Those are not eyes in the heads of the warm bodies being sucked into its vacuum, like extras from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

They are swirling pools of bar-codes and gift-wrapped boxes and Wagamama lunch specials.

More than that, they are the torches of dreamers, of believers, of women who know they can drop a dress-size traveling up and down giant escalators.

On its marketing website this capitalist behemoth spews statistics at you like a fat man who has gorged on one too many cheeseburgers: 265 retailers! 13 million man-hours to build! 50 exciting eating concepts!

Still not convinced?

Construction used enough concrete to fill 117 Olympic swimming pools!

Well, in that case…

Squeeking cleanly only months into this world it rises Phoenix-like out of the ashes of a dazed and confused Shepherds Bush, where a hoodie who has lost his way would be forgiven for thinking he has died and gone to Dubai Heaven.

Housing futuristic runways of glistening tiled flooring and pod-shaped roof-panels it is Woody Allen’s orgasmatron, Huxley’s missing novel and SJP on steroids all rolled into one.

On a par with thinking too hard about the solar system its offering should not be contemplated in one sitting.

In fact, it is possible to walk 23 miles in a circle and never see the same outlet twice: at one point I ended up in Norway.

Holding up two fingers in the shape of a crucifix to the likes of Brent Cross, this mall is Different From All The Others.

It’s got no McDonalds and curvy minimalist touch-screen map computers so stylish they sneer at giving directions, forcing you to grab one of the mall slaves polishing glass panels and make toilet gestures at them instead.

Around the artfully scattered central sofa systems satellite the Enablers- shopping assistants who represent a greater density than the population of Tokyo and talk on average x 3.8 more bollocks, through sheer mind-warping boredom.

As Lionel Richie croons encouragingly each neon sign propels you forth along the yellow-brick road, eyes wide in wonderment, torn between a stop at the karaoke bar, a gawp at an electric vehicle or a scoop from the overflowing baskets at The Nut Hut.

Shall I sample a golden dog’s trotter at the juice bar emporium? Do I need to stock up on a wardrobe of coloured false eyelashes? Or shall I cut the crap and admit that I have come to roll in an orgy of fashion so promiscuous and deviant it makes Jordan look chaste?

Because if there is one thing Westfield does NOT do it is birthday suits.

Whether your look is faux peasant, retro goth or pixie whore you cannot fail to find something comely to drape on your frame: H & M even has a travel desk, where you can book a week-end mini-break to its Accessories department.

Or if it’s lingerie you’re after why not skip along to M & S, where the briefs alone could clothe the population of Spain in Winter. With material to spare.

Cut-outs of an ecstatic Myleene Klaas with an enormous head lure you towards banks and banks of bras for every occasion: Floozie by Frostfrench for that kitsch forty-something revivalist feeling; Star by Julien McDonald for the West London prostitute vibe; Fuller Bust, Magic Body… what, are these requests or promises?

Several hours later you emerge from a time bubble, glugging furiously at a caffeine concept with bagfuls of a sexier you draped around your feet.

And suddenly there’s a bitter taste in your mouth not altogether linked to stale coffee beans.

It’s one that argues strongly for the students of Central Saint Martins to re-train in the art of making wicker baskets.

A feeling that your happy buzz may not last as long as the hours spent earning the lucre to pay for it.

Because Westfield is unavoidably a Truman Show of consumerism of the sort that makes you want to invite Walt Whitman and Hugh Fernley Whittingstall to meditate on its rank motivations, their faces contorted in paroxyms of misery as they clutch at each other gasping, ‘Why?’

What’s that noise?

It’s me tumbling into the dark abyss- arms flailing with glossy carrier bags- the peroxide blonde Alfred Hitchcock heroine of Blind Consumerism.


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