Elderly Children

The other day I laughed like I haven’t done in months…and it wasn’t from a well-crafted and intelligent political barb either, or an amusing satirical comment on Western society’s culture – or anything else that demands some level of brain activity to “get” – noit was a lot more simple and pure than all of that, but not any less meaningful. Well, maybe a little…

Anyway it was undoubtedly something silly; and it came about by me walking into a classroom, and coming across a rather strange sight – a small hunched character who couldn’t have been more than five or six years old. It was one of those moments where it takes a few seconds to take it all in and process…

Huh GIF

You see this kid had pushed his shoulders up, and his head down – basically eliminating his whole neck…making him look vaguely reminiscent of  both Frankenstein’s monster and a penguin with a spinal problem at the same time. To keep the shoulders in shape he was forced to waddle as he walked to maintain composure…and felt it was necessary to emit a few R2-D2 style “BOOP-BAP-BEEP”s every now and again, which (thanks to his missing front teeth) had an eerie and creepy sound to them…this was all probably necessary though,  just to remind people he was still there circling the table.

I also noted that he would occasionally outstretch his right hand slightly as if reaching for an imaginary walking stick which he had sadly misplaced…which led me to believe this was perhaps an older Frankenstein’s monster penguin model. But that was of course an assumption I am still yet to verify. Either way I felt in my heart of hearts that if I had some spare teeth lying around I wouldn’t hesitate to offer them to this bizarre yet amusing creature, he was just trying to live dammit – and seemed like a pretty nice guy.

Friend GIF

There was just something about the whole spectacle which made me burst out laughing, and as he inevitably began to giggle too the shoulders began to droop slowly but surely…and the beeps turned into baaps, and the baaps quickly turned into “ba-ha-ha-ha”s. Before I knew it we were both in hysterics with laughter, and so the rest of the kids in the class took the baton: copying the same character, busily circling the table with their now neckless bodies.

Such little weirdos, seriously!

But it made me think though…where do we lose this? And when…and WHY?! Because I know I still behave like this – but I’m seen largely as stupid, childish, or immature (there are other words but it’s a family show). However I do feel like if we were all a little more like this, just having fun and amusing both ourselves and each other…then life would be that little bit more enjoyable. In other words if the elderly had as much of a laugh imitating children as these kids had imitating the elderly then this world would be a lot less dreary.

Old Lady GIF

All I know is I’m writing a mental note to do the Frankenstein’s monster penguin shuffle at age 93. Don’t let me forget…okay? Even if I scream at you to get off my lawn and begin a rant about “kids these days”…make me do it.

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Simple Tips for Novel Planning (Video Request)

I’m currently working on a new novel…rather excited about it actually – I promise I’m going to come through with this one (motivation through “wooooo, you can do it!” calls would be greatly appreciated!) so it is rather bizarre that I got a wee video request asking for tips on planning out novels…

If you have any advice for myself or other writers then remember – sharing is caring! Would love to hear what has worked, and what hasn’t worked for you! 

Oh, and if you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Adult/Child: The Battle

I’ve been getting nostalgic regarding my childhood – like most people I think it would be GREAT to be a kid all over again; just to be so carefree, and wild! In this video I mourn over my loss of childhood, and also take a look at some old photos from when I was a kid.

Fun to watch, but the message runs deep for all of us!

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Death by Poop (냉방병)

Other than to crawl to work and hope for the best (I have no choice!), it is advisable I don’t leave my bed…so I thought I’d shoot a video just so I have something to do while I lie here regretting my life choices. 

You can read more about the madness here...if you enjoy grim tales.

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Edward Sausage-Hands

How does a person afflicted with stubby little pork sausage fingers even begin to play the guitar? The mind boggles…

Oh, and I know I am just whining and complaining – after all my Dad, his brother – and one of my own brothers play guitar very well. But still…help a guy out? Or maybe I should take up the triangle.

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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KIDS ARE WEIRDOS!

A spot of unfortunate toilet trouble ended up in me coming to one pretty solid conclusion…that kids are weird, and there’s no two ways around it! I mean what would you have done in this situation I found myself in…

Every day is another lesson in straight up strangeness. I swear. 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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The Mission from God.

I have been dwelling on my early teenage years recently – it’s funny because at that point in your life, it could be argued there is not too much greater thought going on! It’s very “I want this!’ and “I hate this!”, possibly with a sprinkle of “this is shit!” But something is happening, you are blossoming into whatever you will be in later life…it’s not clear then, but it is obvious when you look back and connect the dots…I look back and I see, a shy spotty kid, with goofy teeth and braces…whose biggest concern was whether some moron at school would rhyme my surname Taggart, with faggot.

The usual teenage insecurity and self-consciousness I had then, was buried deep down never to be looked at – never to be examined for fear someone might think I was weak. It is only now that I have started being able to channel that into my writing to create humour. It’s about fucking time! Now I am thankful for every situation, good or bad – because there is always a story, always something positive that can be drawn, even in the darkest of times. And that’s a lovely thing.

What is happening GIF

Continue reading “The Mission from God.”

No God, No Good?

First in the new debate series – here we hear a story from the lovely Linda Bethea (thanks Linda!), and later I discuss religion, morality, and…probably a few other things. Hope you enjoy it. 

Opinions are obviously more than welcome, I expect this issue to be a little bit more controversial than say…the time some leeches attacked me in Nepal, or a Chinese guy looking at me weird in a bathroom – but that’s not a bad thing, it’s healthy to have discussions. I’d love to learn something new. 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Judging (The DON’T Judge Challenge)

There’s something particularly unsettling about the recent #Don’tJudgeChallenge that’s doing the rounds…a trend which purports to be powered by a positive message, but misses the mark in a rather obvious and cruelly ironic way…

Here is the so called ‘best of’ just in case you don’t know what I’m on about (TOP TIP: It’s really unnecessary to watch the whole thing):

So yeah…where to begin? Well how about the start? …this whole bizarre viral trend was born from an arguable desire to encourage others “not to judge a book by it’s cover”...and I think in essence that’s a great thing! But what I can’t quite get my head around is the fact that at its core it’s just people pretending to look comically ugly…to only then reveal that; OH NO NEVER MIND, they are actually rather good looking (and also completely in love with themselves). 

Call me a fuddy-duddy or whatever, but perhaps a true #Don’tJudgeChallenge would center on something other than, errrrrm, judging people based on their looks? Perhaps we could see something amazing that a person has done…whether that be a life-saving invention, a touching work of literature, a heart-warming musical performance, or even helping an old lady across the street – just anything that betters others lives in some way or makes the world a better place to be; then we could see what these people look like…and we’d witness that they are of all colours and creeds, all backgrounds and religions, all shapes and sizes…and appearance would be an unnecessary feature in an otherwise touching narrative.

But that’s not what this trend is about…and you know what it actually feels too glaringly obvious to even point out! I mean, how does this even make sense? These people are actively and obnoxiously judging people based on their looks – highlighting things that they deem to be unattractive or undesirable; spots, moles, scars, glasses, mono brows…the list goes on – and then pulling back to marvel at their own beauty as they rub their face, along with their overbearingly large ego.

How does watching these videos feel for people who have any of these so-called ‘ugly’ afflictions? Probably not great I’d imagine. Or maybe I’m wrong – maybe a teenage girl with cystic acne is watching these videos of people wiping off drawn on spots and suddenly feels fantastic…or maybe she feels put down, demoralized, and even more self-conscious by the self-rightgeous and hurtful movement that is the #Don’tJudgeChallenge. 

But hey, maybe I’m wrong…these are just my thoughts, please don’t judge.

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ASS IN FACE (A Gym Story)

I’m not much of a talker at the gym…a nod and smile usually suffices most interactions – as the large majority of people just want to be in and out as soon as possible so the entire ordeal doesn’t drag any longer than necessary…

So like many others I put in my earphones and just silently do my time as if counting down a horrendous prison stretch…each set of exercises representing another etched line on the cell’s walls that leads up to freedom and release to the outside world – where sweaty groins and burning muscle pains are a lot less frequent. Unless you’re a pole dancer I suppose…

Pole Dancer GIF

Anyway that doesn’t stop the chatty Kathys out there unfortunately, or the other talkative people who are not called Kathy for that matter. No Sir! There are still a few bizarre individuals who feel the best time to enter into conversation with strangers is when they are one squat away from being sick all over the dumbbell rack, or one strained leg press from caking their underpants…let me tell you this right now: these people are stupid – they should let people die alone, not interrupt their struggle and offer unwanted opinions on the weather and current events!

It makes me deeply saddened to report that despite being in South Korea I am not immune to these types. Just yesterday one entered my life, and just like herpes once you have a new buddy (even one that is against your will) there is no getting rid and you will have to face it every day. If you are in this situation you have my sympathy – but there is nothing that you, a doctor, or a personal trainer can do about it…you simply have to learn to coexist…errr yeah, I think I lost my train of thought a little…

Metaphor GIF

Also may I add you may hear that a flamethrower will help alleviate this problem – I am not legally at liberty to comment. But…yeah, DO IT. 

Anyway so back to the story – I was sat at a bench, except not a nice bench like a park bench, on which I can do nothing but listen to the birds sing in the trees, and smile at babies who just stare back dumbfounded…no you see this bench is different. On this bench I have to lift up heavy things, without moving them anywhere, and then put them down again…and then repeat. As if I am really indecisive like “hmmm where shall I put this, perhaps over here, perhaps over…err…nah just put it down and think again.” REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT! So is the life of the gym goer, and so was my situation in that moment.

So anyway while I was sat there an older but still rather fit looking (as in healthy, settle down you!) lady got right in front of me- despite there being quite literally all of the rest of the gym to stand. She then began some weird very bum orientated moves that I don’t know the name of, there was a lot of gyration going on…too much. They were like squats I suppose but more butt, and each movement was so close to me that I got a bit of a breeze with every rep.,.it made me uncomfortable…very, very uncomfortable…each bum jerk was the equivalent to a sloppy Aunt kiss when you’re 12 years old.

Awkward Workout GIF

Now I’m a nervous fella at the best of the times but I felt like I knew how to deal with this one…so I deployed the good old half a clock method; I simply looked down at my phone, looked left at the Korean drama beaming on a small TV screen, then back to the mirror (looking only at myself…not even a glimpse to the right, oh no!) – and then repeat! You see I didn’t want anyone wagging a finger and shrieking “DID YOU JUST LOOK AT THE BUTT I AM SHOVING IN YOUR FACE?! HOW BLAAADY DARE YOU?! YOU FIEND YOU!” 

Nahhhh, it was far too early for that sort of exchange – so I stuck to my guns. Even when the butt turned around, I stuck to the strategy…even when she stared right at me from two feet away, I tried…even when she began waving her hands in my face…I…well yeah, at that point I had no choice…

“Errr, hello?” I mumbled, removing my earphones which I had been led to believe served as a magical artifact which lets people know you are totally not up for conversation.

“How are ya?!” asked the butt lady, who seemed very keen to know all about me despite my dour expression. I nodded and mumbled something, before remembering my manners (after all I didn’t want to be mean). She then rambled on about something gym related that I didn’t understand at all, so to both change the subject and be kind I thought I’d try a compliment; “wow, you’re English is great by the way!” “Well yeah…I’m American.” she said in a solid monotone. 

“Haha…well that explains that then…”

Awkward Oh GIF

She snapped back from the silence and continued with questions as I wondered when it was socially acceptable to put my earphones back in and continue with my workout. You know, the REASON I am here in the first place! Five minutes passed and that time didn’t seem to come…then ten minutes trickled by….and then I felt I had to make it happen myself, so made my excuses and got my sweaty body out of there, despite not being done.

“See ya tomorrow then John!” 

Argh man…I mean she’s so nice, bless her. But I don’t need a bud every morning at the gym (but now I have one, so oh well) I just need to be in and out! You know, put my body through hell till it cries so maybe, just maybe, I can eat pizza, bacon, and cheese without quite as much guilt as I do when I just have a lie in. I’m not a powerhouse masochist superhero model  type who has ‘NO PAIN NO GAIN’ tattooed across their balls – instead I’m a degenerate blob who isn’t fond of movement across the board, especially (most) movements which make me grunt. ohLIGHTBULB MOMENT! 

What if I grunt really weirdly and say strange things when doing exercises?! Just brainstorming at this point but what about something like; “URGHHYEEEAAAAH, URGHHHH-AHHH-MILKKK, MILKKK, MIIIILKKKKKKKK! OHHHH – YOOLKKKS! EGGYYYYAAAARGHHH!” 

I mean, surely no one will speak to me then? Even people named Kathy…well I’ll give it a go and let you all know…in the mean time enjoy your freedom my friends, unless you’re reading this in the gym – in which case, you have my pity…

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