I appear to have picked up a lot of new readers in the last few days, so I thought it might be a good idea to start at the ground floor again to get the uninitiated up to speed. Everybody else in Blogland has a "Fifty things you didn't know..." page, so as usual I’m the last person on the bandwagon. Good grief, I’ll be doing “Friday Fives” next.
1. I was born in 1966, the same year England won the World Cup
2. I was born in yuppie’s paradise, Parson’s Green, London, twenty years before the yuppies got there
3. I lived in Hammersmith for the first five years of my life
4. I lived in Vancouver for a year
5. As a kid, I also spent time in Seattle (it was closed) and Belfast (it rained)
6. I moved to Twyford, near Reading in 1972, which is where most of the Scary Stories occured. By the grace of God, it’s still standing.
7. I moved to Charvil, a bit closer to Reading in 1982, where I lived near 60s singer Mary Hopkin and the late, great Kenny Everett
8. I moved into Reading in 1989, I had no famous neighbours, but the creepy bloke next door may have been in the Russian Mafia
9. I have a younger brother and an older sister who live in Hertfordshire and Cheshire respectively. We’re close like that.
10. My father, Professor Scary, is a virologist; while my mother was a State Registered Nurse.
11. At various times, I have gone under the aliases Albert O’Balsam, Bob de Bilde, Patrick Bateman, Peter Pervert, A Valued Microsoft Customer and Charles “Charlie” Charles on the internet
12. I once had a dental operation that led to me wearing a boxer’s gumshield glued to my teeth for six months. It made me look an utter twat and led to life-long mental scars
13. I went to school in Wargrave and ended up with nine O Levels and a CSE in Techincal Drawing.
14. I went to Bracknell college, where I discovered alcohol and left with three rubbish A Levels and a hangover.
15. My first job was at the Dole Office in Reading. I spent three further years as a civil servant at the Ministry of Agriculture, where I met Mrs Scary
16. I’ve now worked for fourteen years in the same job for a large broadcaster
17. In the line of duty, I’ve been to South Korea, Japan, The Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Cyprus and Jordan. And Evesham.
18. I got robbed by bandits in the Congo. How we laughed.
19. Mrs Scary and I got married in 1991.
20. We’ve got two kids: Scaryduckling and Scaryduck Jr.
21. We moved to Weymouth in 2002 to escape the rat-race
22. Unfortunately, I still work in Reading, leading to a bizarre twilight zone existance and an intimate knowledge of the South West rail network.
23. You can still find my first sappy website here.
24. I speak French and German, and can read Russian.
25. I once broke my foot in bizarre circumstances.
26. I once broke my sister’s nose in bizarre circumstances.
27. I once broke my best friend’s thumb in bizarre circumstances.
28. If you believe everything written on this site, my entire life has been dogged by bizarre circumstance.
29. I captained the school chess team which won the Berkshire schools trophy. My finest moment of glory, for which Mr Stafford gave me fifteen house points.
30. I was knocked unconscious on my thirteenth birthday by my sister.
31. My next door neighbour topped himself on my thirteenth birthday. And the presents were rubbish too.
32. My first Scary story “I was a teenage bomber” was read out on the Danny Baker radio show.
33. I started writing, however, in 1987 with an article about the state of Wembley Stadium in a football magazine.
34. I wrote regularly for The Gooner fanzine for over ten years.
35. I support the mighty Arsenal Football Club after my father tried to get me to support Chelsea.
36. My maternal grandfather was a shipbuilder, who actually built a ship - HMS Torquay - that his son, my uncle, served on in the Royal Navy.
37. My paternal grandfather, a genuine cockney as it happens, served as NCO aircrew in the RAF during the Desert Campaign in World War Two.
38. The first record I bought was the Ying Tong Song by The Goons, after telling people for years that it was, in fact, "Pop Music" by M.
39. The first album I bought was Kings of the Wild Frontier by Adam and the Ants.
40. My first gig was Ultravox at the Hammersmith Odeon, but I’ve seen New Order five times since. Yes, I was a New Rom and I had no shame.
41. I was once a member of Mensa, but I have now made a full recovery.
42. I once told spoonbender Uri Geller to fuck off.
43. I onced own a Korg Poly 61 keyboard, and played in a band called Afansor. We sucked. I sold the keyboard to pay for my TV licence.
44. I’m currently studying for a degree with the Open University. Unfortunately, there are no amusing anecdotes associated with this fact.
45. I once worked in a pub, where the manager kept falling down the stairs into the cellar.
46. I’ve got a lesbian mentallist cat, and a small dog who is still too young to bear any mental scars.
47. I once nearly had a vasectomy, but the operation was cancelled because Princess Diana died. I never went back.
48. I once broke my finger in a rubber johnnie machine.
49. I got paid GBP1000 by the Guardian for writing this stuff. I spent the money on a boiler.
50. My real name is Alistair. I blame the parents.