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


17 October 2002
Dan's rubbered to the bone.

One of the strange things about Gillian Freeman's classic The Leather Boys, is that in most of the reprint editions I have encountered, nothing on the cover or the back suggests that this is a touching tale of two lost boys finding each other. And each other's cocks. Instead, the tendency seems to be for illustrations and blurbs highlighting the amorality of an abandoned generation, accompanied by pictures of, to be strictly accurate, absurdly camp bikers. This reached its apotheosis in a printing daubed with a photograph of a man dressed in what were presumably meant to be biker's leathers, but looked good for protection against little more than a spilled G&T at Torture Garden. The fact that the man looks like the bastard lovechild of Rick Wakeman and Thor, god of thunder, did little to dispel the impression that somebody, somewhere had MISSED THE FUCKING POINT.

But anyway, to the purpose. Dot, the bovine wife of one of our disenchanted petty criminal heroes, and an early role for Rita Tushingham, has little to recommend her as a provider of uxorious succour, even before we take into account the fact that her husband is just waiting for the right biker boy. One night, her reluctant husband notes with relief that the box containing her diaphragm is empty. This is a source of some relief for him, as it means she has already entertained a gentleman caller while he was out at the dance hall, and is keeping it in for the requisite six to eight hours, and he can therefore in good conscience decline any forthcoming requests for pleasuring.

Hold on a second.

Six to eight hours? This is the kind of thing they just don't teach you on civil engineering courses. Six to eight? So, the entirety of the post-coital doze, or twice as long as the bitter weeping in the living room as your partner sleeps on uncaring. Do we have to do that with condoms, too, just to make sure the little fuckers are dead, dead, dead? We should be told.

It all seems terribly old-fashioned. Like refrigerated Valpolicella and pet rocks, it feels like a hangover from another age. What people used to use. What your mum used. When she had sex. Casual sex. With many different partners. She loved it. Your mum's a bit dirty, really.

Every fellow with a feeling for the feminine has their first diaphragm moment. When the finger comes into contact with a strange creature, suckling at the cervix. How this offspring of Harawayan cyborg and Hellenic cuisine is dealt with is a decision that will echo down the ages. Abject fear is not acceptable. This is the 21st Century. People have their eyeballs pierced with their own steel-shod scrotums, for God's sake. A mild curiosity is entirely permissible, however. As if you had found a Cream album in their CD collection. Both will have the same origin.

Mild curiosity will inevitably reveal that their previous boyfriend (who was older) was a spontaneous kind of guy. Spontaneous and sensitive. He didn't want the cold impersonality of the application of the condom to get in the way of a beautiful, shared moment. It is considered unwise to comment on his bravery on having manfully crammed or attempted to cram this very sensitive member up half the fifth form. Especially if you are at an all boys school. Better by far to let pass without comment that Mr. Sensitive preferred to keep the beauty of the moment immanent by demanding a preemptive solo session steering a furled flag of convenience into harbour. No points will be scored by this. Be understanding if slightly incredulous.

You will have dislodged it by now anyway. She will retreat. You will hunt for a condom. Trust me, it's better this way.

And, six months down the line, when the whole thing is a distant memory or humorous anecdote for an online journal, you may drop in on her, and surprise her. If the questing fingers that have shed so many cells as to be whole new fingers happen to striate a shield of galvanised rubber, if you should ask why she has the long-forgotten diaphragm in place, and should she respond with wide dark eyes:

What are you talking about? I haven't.

Say nothing. Kiss her, remember an appointment. Return in five to seven hours.

These are the rules. This is what is right.

I'm afraid I can't help with your mother, though.


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:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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