* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Class act

23 August 2001
Jamie's on the up...

Some of you may have noticed a change in me recently. Appearance, attitude; you name it, I've taken drastic measures to improve it. No more Friday nights in Wetherspoons followed by a dance at Chameleon and back to Jackie's for a smoke (and a shag, if I'm lucky). No more shopping in TK Maxx or MadHouse. No more slumming it in the shit restaurants, supping house wine and piling up high at the salad bar in Harvesters. Worzel Gummidge can fuck right off.

That's not me. Not any more. I've deleted my old life and installed a new one. This is Jamie v4.0.

About this time last year, I was supine in a smoke-filled tent at a festival, head-to-toe with several hundred like-minded potheads, discussing the merits of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. We'd travelled up in someone's mad aunt's VW Camper, and were living off Sainsbury's Economy Cola, Superkings and bread rolls crammed with processed cheese, processed ham (no more than 20% added water and lactose) and about seven spoons of mustard to give them some flavour. My face hadn't been washed in days; my hair hadn't been washed in months. My clothes hadn't been washed at all.

Looking back, I can't believe it took me so long to see how ridiculous it all was. I thought I was having fun; I thought I was free, shuffling off the tawdry coil placed on me by society, revelling in the role of rebel without a care. I thought, yeah, this is the way to go: I'm intelligent enough to be doing this for the right reasons, my eyes are wide open, I've chosen my path. Better this than rotting away in an office for eleven hours a day, sweat patches ruining the colours of my Thomas Pink shirt.

Then again, the more you smoke, the more intelligent you sound to yourself, and I had myself convinced. I've grown up now though. When it comes down to it, you've got to do something with your life; those tree-huggers and soapdodgers are doing fuck-all, no matter what they might think they're achieving. Although I never shared their crazy politics - I wasn't that stupid -I was well into the lifestyle, and that's a deadly trap. The glamour of being completely unglamorous, the buzz of inverse snobbery; thank fuck I got out.

And I'm still not sure exactly how I did escape. Probably a combination of not having any money and not wanting to become a criminal (contrary to my colleagues' ideals, I still saw stealing from the wealthy as theft). So I had a shower (to be fair, clean hair felt fucking good), wrote a CV (gaps filled by 'travelling'), took my suit out of mothballs and before I knew it I was employed. Say what you like about the old boys' network, but it's a fucking godsend when you've got no skills and no experience.

Everything else pretty much followed on from there, really. I couldn't very well go out with 'the chaps' (ok, a few things still took some getting used to) looking like Woking boy; Stamford Bridge is a much more suitable place for entertaining than Kingfield. And Mandy just wouldn't have dovetailed with all those designer girlfriends. No, some things you just outgrow.

It has to be said, I don't regret any of it. You get a better class of people in clubs around the West End; I've been told my suit makes me irresistible to the right kind of woman. And I hadn't realised that Stella stopped being cool to drink when they started advertising it on TV, or that Budvar is so 1995. If I didn't have the right people around me, I'd be making such a fool out of myself.

But I've got everything planned now: I know exactly where I'm going to have my house built, I'm going to marry someone who appears in Burke's Peerage, and we're going to have two dogs called Phaïdeau and Reauva [I'm actually quite proud of that last bit. It's funny on so many levels]. Kids when I'm about forty-two. They're on the list for Eton the minute they pop out. Unless they're girls, heaven forbid!

[And if I catch any of those gypsies trespassing on my land, or looking at my begonias a bit funny, I'm sending Nichols down with the twelve-bore. Send them all home, I say]


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

Let meeeeeee entertain you

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