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

Brad and Jennifer and Me

11 August 2003
Jamie kisses and tells

You can imagine the reaction when Tim's sister-in-law told us the news. Mr & Mrs Pitt rumoured to be house-hunting in Amsterdam - the sort of story that raises excitement and disbelief in more or less equal measure, not to mention baffling tabloid headline writers everywhere. The typically insipid efforts were mainly of the 'Brad 'n' Jen to go Dutch' variety (though Dominic Mohan did at least attempt something a little different with his 'top ten Brad films', from 'Twelve Junkies' to 'Red Light Club'), before the story pretty much disappeared.

That is, until Matt forwarded me an email sent to the general upsideclown address, shortly after I let slip my location. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just saying he was a regular clown reader, moving to the area with his missus, would like to meet people with a sense of humour who knew cool places to hang out. Signed 'Brad', with a PS to 'keep it under your hat - if you've got one'. I arranged to meet him in Rookies in two weeks' time, and headed straight for the chapeau shop.

It was still a surprise when he agreed to be interviewed for my next article. OK, I'd prepped him well when we were chatting about the site (how everyone knows it's 90% bullshit and takes everything with a giant pinch of salt and no one would believe it blah blah blah), and we were already three reefers and several biertjes in; but his readiness still caught me off guard. It would have been the ultimate piece of gonzo journalism - think Parkie on mushrooms - if only I'd brought a pen, or several more of my faculties.

I remember snippets, though. Like getting him to admit he'd fancied Courtney Cox more to start with (though quickly defected to camp Aniston when the former went all bony and neurotic). How it's nigh-on impossible to kiss Julia Roberts convincingly on screen ('That mouth, it's so fucking big man!'). How he failed to woo Shania Twain despite his identity, his TVR and his intellect, not to mention the gift of a black silk negligee ('I was like, it's not supposed to keep you warm. It's supposed to look good on the floor when I'm banging you! Ah, fuck her anyway man. Psycho.'). You'd never have thought a big star would be such a top fella. Got the hang of the 'one for the road' rule pretty quick as well.

And you should have seen his face when he staggered into our living room, later that evening, to see Mike prone on the couch, spliff in hand, just about able to raise his head and mutter a 'what the...'. Brad swore it was just like seeing himself in the rushes for True Romance, wouldn't stop calling him Floyd for the whole evening. When he came round the next day, he even brought a gift of some cleaning products. Like I said, top fella.

But it was the Jennifer question that troubled me. Despite Brad's assurances ('She's cool, man'), I wondered how she'd react to her hubby's newfound association to a clique so different from her usual glamour set, when she came out a month later after filming. Would she head back to LA in a flash, dragging him straight back & into rehab?

I needn't have worried. She walked into our flat, announcing 'Hi, I'm Jen' - as if we needed telling - and proceeded to show herself to be so totally charming and self-deprecating that you just couldn't help but fall in love with her. What I couldn't have anticipated - wouldn't even have dared to dream of - was the same thing happening to her.

In my own typically charming and self-deprecating way, I thought she was just being polite. She laughed at my jokes, complimented my cooking and warmly took the piss out of the disaster I'd just rolled up.

[Hold on. I am starting to feel a worrying amount of gush coming up. I'm going to write this all down on paper, get it out of my system, and leave you with something you can read without wanting to punch my smug, loved-up face in. Suffice to say there was a moment, call it the thunderbolt, the coup de foudre or whatever, where we both realised, blah blah blah.]

After that, each time we were alone together my refrain became 'Don't say it', just like the scriptwriters of Eastenders managed to avoid bringing up Mark Fowler's HIV for months, years on end. But you can only ignore these things for so long.

To cut a long story short, their marriage didn't work out. False rumours of flings with respective co-stars, clashing shooting schedules, numerous magazine articles about Hollywood marriages being doomed to failure, the usual reactions - though this was the first time I'd seen the effects close-up, and was grateful for once for my lack of fame. I don't know how much Jen had to do with the rumours arising; if she did set it up, I was just glad I wasn't going to go through my life as 'the one who stole Brad Pitt's bird'.

So, about a month later, Brad came to see me. He'd been talking to Jen - still friends, and close, which was painful but a relief - and said she'd been sounding him out about my feelings for her. So honest - he said he was torn between the jealous protective instincts of an ex and a desire to see two friends get together. I asked him how he'd feel about it - he looked me straight in the eye, without a hint of accusation, and told me her wanted her to be happy. Again - top fella.

Now, one month later, here we are. The first rays of sunlight are streaming in through my Velux window, lighting up your golden skin, your head resting on my chest, my right hand resting on the 'luscious Greek ass' you're so proud of (and not without good reason, I might add). Moments like this every morning, lying here naked together sheltered from the rest of the world, are the type of memory I know I'm going to hoard for my later years. The look in your eyes as you stir in half-sleep, start to raise your head and ask me the question anyone in my position fears:

'You're not going to put this in a clown, are you?'


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

We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.

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