Matthew’s Blog: The Light Continent

Dan and Linda Uganda pic

Have you been watching ‘Africa’ on the BBC? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been glued to Attenborough’s latest on the goggle-box as the intrepid octogenarian travails the vast expanses of that mighty continent. (Of course one must always be on one’s guard with Sir David, always ready at a moment’s notice to stick one’s fingers in one’s ears and sing “la la la” whenever he starts spouting his atheist lies about “evolution.”)

Watching ‘Africa’ is also a good way of remaining close to Dan, who is currently, like Attenborough, beating a path through the tough African terrain, accompanied by his dearest mother Linda. (I imagine they both look great in explorer’s hats and khaki shorts!) However whilst Attenborough hobbles off in pursuit of cheetahs and shakes his walking stick at angry rhinos, Dan and Linda have rather more pressing matters at hand. They’re not there to frivolously admire the wildlife, but to educate the good Christians of the ‘Dark Continent’ (it’s actually quite sunny there, so I’m led to believe) as to the perils of ‘tolerating’ sexual perversion, ably assisted by a travelling slide-show of shocking images guaranteed to bring Mr Vomit rushing up the elevator and loitering with intent at the back of one’s throat.

Prior to leaving, Dan and Linda had spent many hours sat on the sofa in the front room of our flat with the laptop on Dan’s lap, trawling the info super-highway in search of the filthiest, most despicable images with which to refresh their dossier of depravity.

Unfortunately, Google Images seemed somewhat half-hearted with its suggestions, shyly offering up a few desultory offerings that Linda and Dan both felt didn’t quite have that ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality required to truly enrage pious Africans and get them hurriedly forming an orderly lynch mob outside the hut of the nearest ‘flamboyant’ villager.

Horrified African kids

I was happily leaving them to their dirty work as I sat on the sofa opposite, flicking through the latest issue of Empire magazine, so engrossed in some pics of Aaron Taylor Johnson on the set of Kick Ass 2 that at first I didn’t notice that both Erpinghams had diverted their attention from the computer screen and re-routed it in my direction. After a minute or so I began to feel the heat of their rays burning into me and as I looked up to answer their gaze my heart hit an iceberg and plummeted into the abyss. I knew at once that my services were to be enlisted.

Thus I was despatched to the nearest sin-pot to sniff out a suitable muse to assist in the tableaux. There was a likely looking lad perched at the bar as I walked in and I wasted no time in “chatting him up.” Although interested enough in me, he seemed in no hurry to escort me homewards, so with Dan impatiently texting me I whipped out the wallet and flashed a few twenties under the young chap’s nostrils, at which he hastily plonked his pint glass down on the counter and dutifully trooped out in my slipstream.

He seemed a little bemused when he arrived back at the flat to be greeted by both Dan and Linda setting up the camera on its tripod in the bathroom, but after a few more twenties were flashed in front of his nose he quit whimpering as I nudged him into the makeshift studio to begin our gruelling five hour ordeal. And here, dear reader, a curtain of discretion must descend upon proceedings. What we did, we did in the service of Dawn Rescue, and I won’t begin to describe any of the terrible images we conjured up on that long, long night, suffice to say they will remain forever etched into my mind however hard I might try to erase them, (and would doubtless remain forever etched in yours too, should you ever be unlucky enough to see them).  Eventually Linda declared “it’s a wrap, guys!” so that myself and the ‘rough trade’ could wipe ourselves clean and put our clothes back on. I had to stuff a few more twenties into the stunned hustler’s trembling hands to silence any lingering objections he might have, and then hurriedly marched him out the door so we could assess the results. And according to the latest email which has just slam-dunked into my inbox, those pictures have most definitely been having the desired effect on the good people of Uganda! (Next stop, Ethiopia!) Which is reassuring to know, don’t you think?

The things Muggins here does for Dawn Rescue!

Matthew’s Blog: New Year, New Dawn

new dawnHappy (belated) 2013! Have you made any new year resolutions? What were they? And have you managed to stick to them? Come on now, be honest! Ooh look, you’ve turned bright puce! Naughty, naughty, tut tut! I’ve made my usual resolutions, the same resolutions I make every year (to have no more impure thoughts, to finally quit the self-abuse, to completely change my sexual orientation, etc etc) and after my “annus horribilis” of 2012 (whence I was tempted by a certain slithering serpent, lest we forget ) I have high hopes that 2013 will finally be my year! Fingers crossed!

How was your Christmas? Did you get lots of lovely pressies? Here at Dawn Rescue we had the best Christmas presents ever! Dan’s mum Linda graced us once again with her invigorating company (her divine presence is surely enough of a present in itself!). On Christmas morning we sat around the tree doling out the spoils. From Dan I got a signed first edition of his book The Importance of Being Jack (bound to be a collectors item one of these days!) and from Linda an intriguing memoir entitled Gimme Gimme Gimme A Man After Midnight (Named Jesus) by Orson V. Schnitzel, an American chap, detailing his struggles to remain on the ‘straight and narrow’. “I think it’d be a very beneficial book for you to read!” intoned Linda with a hint of steel in her voice as I unwrapped it and Orson’s toothsome, suntanned visage smiled back at me from the front cover.

Like myself, Orson is tussling daily with his personal demons, and it seems he has been having some commendable success in swatting them away. Having said that, his irreverent writing style seems to occasionally teeter dangerously on the border of blasphemy, (if not passing straight through immigration control with passport stamped and full citizenship granted!). Take this, from page 42, “Whereas once I used to kneel on restroom floors before some guy,” he breathlessly informs us, “and take an intimate part of his anatomy in my mouth, I now kneel on church floors in front of a priest and swallow part of the Lord’s body instead!” And later; “As Barbra Streisand once sang, ‘someday he’ll come along, the man I love,’ well there’s only one hot stud in my life right now and his name is Jesus! Sure, he’s no ‘twink’, (he’s more of an ‘otter’), but like Brad Pitt and that cutie from Kings of Leon, JC totally rocks the bearded look!” (There’s a lot more in this vein!) I don’t doubt Mr Schnitzel’s sincerity and I wish him all the luck on his quest to gain admission to the Kingdom of Heaven, however one does register slight concern as to what exactly Orson plans to do to the Messiah once he gets there! But perhaps we should be lenient. Maybe it’s like nicotine patches, and this is his first faltering step on the way to weaning himself off his unnatural urges for good.

But Dan got given the best present of all! A huge box wrapped in glistening gold paper and adorned with a mighty red bow, it loomed like Sauron’s tower of Mordor over all the other paltry little bundles. Dan had been dropping hints to his mum about an HD TV all year so his excitement was palpable as he vigorously undressed the box, stripping it down to it’s cardboard nakedness and forcefully thrusting his hands through it’s flaps to root around inside, tossing bundles of bubble wrap over his shoulder.

“I do hope you like it, Danny darling,” said Linda with an intriguing twinkle in her eye. “I’ve kept the receipt just in case!” The suspense was killing me as I waited with baited breath to see what Dan would fish from its boxy depths and bring victoriously to the surface. But nothing was forthcoming. There was much furrowing of Dan’s brow as his fingers scrabbled around in the nooks and crannies of the cube but to no avail. Linda clasped her hand over her mouth in attempt to suppress all audio emissions of mirth as Dan upended the empty vessel but still no contents came plopping out. He looked up and surveyed his giggling Mater with a wounded mix of hurt and confusion. Was this some cruel trick? Or some unusual punishment, and if so, what for?

“Well?” said Linda, “Don’t you like it?”

Son stared back at mother, nonplussed.

“It’s the Gift of God’s love!” explained Linda, with a stating-the-obvious sigh, “Is it not simply wondrous?”

The penny dropped! Instantaneously Dan’s expression changed to pure relief and elation. “Oh mummy!” he cried, flinging his arms around the Mothership, “It’s the best present ever!” And truly it was! Bet you didn’t get a present as cool as that!