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


25 November 2002
Victor finds that lonely people have curious habits.

So I'm set up with this guy by the friend of a friend. Although not the type I usually go for he is good-looking, articulate and clearly looks after himself. After a couple of nights on the town flashing my cleavage in modernist bars I realise that the next date will be the sex date. I'm nervous, but in a good way.

It's a long time since I've started seeing someone - I forget the protocol and I find myself unusually coy. When he leans down to kiss me I almost bottle out; when his hand travels down my back I register mild shock. But I really like him, and I sense he really likes me too. It feels right.

His place is nice: lots of wood, neutrals throughout. He leads me up the stairs and deposits me on the bed. I curse myself that I'm giggling like a schoolgirl. As he climbs on top of me my head is pushed towards the back wall and strikes something hard. Jolted, I look up to see a large wooden board. Naturally I assume it is a headboard of some kind: further investigation reveals otherwise. My curiosity gets the better of me; I roll him onto his back so I can get a closer look. The board is carved in the baroque style of ornament, and resembles very closely the black, lettered placards erected in whitewashed country churches. In white flowing script are a number of itemised points:

Occupants must keep to the area specified for them by the white lines.

Occupants must shower before entering the bed.

Duvet is distributed relative to surface area of the body concerned.

Winceyette pyjamas must be worn at all times.

The consumption of food and drink is restricted to tea.

Toast crumbs are the work of Satan.

Ejaculation of bodily fluids is to be avoided.

Permission must be sought before breaking wind.

It's true what they (my mother) say: you think you've found the perfect man and then he turns out to be a nutter. I know that everyone has their own way of doing things, but this is positively draconian, not to say anal. I'm no great fan of farting, but I object to this sanitation. My gaze drifts to the top of the board, where the decorative heading spells out "Rules of Engagement".

"Engagement?", I quip. "Why, we've only just met!"

He doesn't appear to find this funny.


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:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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