Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday To Grumpy

My most recent Grumpy columnsoon to grace the pages of Tsunami. Had a bloody nice dinner with friends at Spice Temple, then went and partied and had some very big laughs. Not sure why I wrote this in the third person, just came out that way. Read. Enjoy. My lovely editor did. She also "adored" my piece on local band The Beards (also out soon). She lets me indulge in a very casual style, which seems to make for fun reading (certainly fun writing). I adore my Ed.


Grumpy is freelance writer Lee Bemrose ( He had a nice birthday recently.

Grumpy doesn't like birthdays. He doesn't mind other people's birthday parties, he just doesn't like his own very much. Something probably happened to him on his birthday when he was Little Grumpy that made him sad.

But some friends made plans to have dinner on his and The Dreaded One's birthday on the weekend. He thought this would be nice. There was also a club night he wanted to go to on that night but Grumpy and The Dreaded One thought they probably couldn't afford to go. Sigh.

But then just before the weekend, Grumpy got home from work and The Dreaded One told him she had won a competition she hadn't even entered – two tickets to the clubnight plus accommodation in a 4 star hotel. The club was in the hotel complex, and there was a spa in their room, and there was a rooftop pool – right on top of the roof.

Dinner was very very nice, but Grumpy was very keen to get back to the hotel and crack into a massive night of partying. Grumpy likes hotels. He also likes massive nights of partying.

The hotel was excellent. The club was excellent. Grumpy has largely gone off clubs in favour of outdoor dance festivals, but sometimes clubnights work. This was one such night. Oh the fun Grumpy and The Dreaded One and all their friends had.

At one point, someone gave Grumpy & Co a birthday treat, and 10 minutes after having their birthday treats, the music stopped - the club was closing much earlier than they expected because it was in a hotel. Uh-oh.

Disappointed, the friends went back to their hotel room where suddenly they found millions and millions and millions of things to talk about. They laughed a lot and liked each other lots more than usual.

At dawn they went to the roof-top swimming pool, which was pretty cool. They had morning drinks as the sun came up, and soon the day was bright and fresh. And soon after that, Normal People came up to work out in the gym. The gym looked out onto the roof-top pool from behind big glass windows, and while Grumpy and his friends blobbed about in giggling heaps, The Normal People pedalled and ran and rowed and did funny things on a big steppy pully up-down thing. The Normal People were much funnier than they realised.

Soon some of Grumpy's friends decided to show The Normal People how funny they were. They went down to the big windows, stared right at The Normal People, and started pedalling and running and rowing and doing funny things on imaginary big steppy pully up down things. It was the funniest thing Grumpy and the rest of the party people had ever seen.

Then the funny friends became angry drill masters, shouting through the glass at The Normal People who were just not putting enough effort into it. “Pedal harder!” they shouted. “Run faster! Row harder! Go more crazy on that steppy pully up-down thing!”

One of the friends even ran on the spot in front of the treadmill-running person, looking over his shoulder in fright as though he was being chased by the running Normal Person.

It was around this time that Grumpy remembered that the theme of the night had been Aztec; half of the very loose people by the rooftop pool who were falling about laughing were dressed as Aztec warriors in leathers and feathers and runny make-up. The rest were just regular doofer types, dressed in leathers and feathers and fluff. What must The Normal People have thought?

Grumpy was pretty sure it was one of the better birthdays he'd had. If every birthday could be this surprising and this silly, he might celebrate them more often.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grumpy At The Crossroads

Latest Grumpy column coming out in a forthcoming issue of Tsunami Mag. Grumpy sells his soul at The Crossroads and writes perhaps the greatest blues song ever written. Oh yeah baby.


Grumpy is freelance writer Lee Bemrose (, and he ain't nothing but a loose cannon feeling bad.

Things are pretty bad in the world of Grumpy. I'm feelin' kinda blue. I ain't got no job. Down to my last bottle of bourbon. My girl left me for another man. I'm at a crossroad. Maybe I'm at THE crossroad and it's time to make a deal with the devil.

Recently I had to interview local band The Beards. Maybe you've heard of these guys. They write songs about beards, then they sing these songs about beards. Just beards, beards beards, and mostly just how much better a man is if he's got a beard. Real men are supposed to have beards, and it's offensive to their manhood and the natural order of things to scrape away their beards.

Their song titles are things like No Beard, No Good; Who Told You To Shave Off Your Beard; and If Your Dad Doesn't Shave, You've Got Two Mums. Weird thing is that as basically silly as these songs sound, they're actually pretty good. Get these for some well-crafted lyrics: “I'm not in the mood for strokin'/ For pink bits pokin/ Chocolate sauce/ Intercourse...” Kind of idiotic out of context, but within the context of the song, they work the way, say, Spinal Tap's Big Bottom works (“Big bottom, big bottom/Talk about bum cakes/my girl's got 'em/ Big bottom drive me out of my mind/ How could I leave this behind?”). Inspired, really.

In thinking about my current situation, The Crossroads and making deals with the devil, I recalled the quote from the movie The Crossroads that said “Blues ain't nothin' but a good man feeling bad.” So I made a deal with the devil, and low and behold came up with a blues song that I hope is as good as The Beards' folk/rock or Spinal Tap's metal. My song goes a little something like this...

One day my baby asked me (this was before she left me)

She looked at me through swimming pool eyes,

And asked me what was on the TV (on the TV)

I turned to my baby (yeah this was when she was still here)

And told her through a breath of sorrow and beer,

What the hell kind of crazy-assed question

Is that to ask a loose cannon, rock 'n roll vagina-lovin' guy like me?

I'm just a loose cannon, rock 'n roll vagina-lovin' guy,

With the loose cannon, rock 'n roll vagina-lovin' guy blues.

This other time she asked me (as she walked out the door),

Through a sad smile as she held packed bags,

If it bothered me that she ain't gonna be here no more.

I put down my guitar and looked at her (she was still here, but she was going)

Told her there was no way for a guy like me of knowing (of knowing),

And anyway what the hell kind of crazy-assed question

Is that to ask a loose cannon, rock 'n roll vagina-lovin' guy like me?

I'm just a loose cannon, rock 'n roll vagina-lovin' guy,

With the loose cannon, rock 'n roll vagina-lovin' guy blues.

There is more. Lots more. But we're running out of space, and besides, I don't want my heartache to get inside and mess you up the way it done did me... did, because it hurts real bad, my heartache. You can trust me on that, you can done do.

Right now I'm going to sit here all by myself, out on the porch with my faithful pooch – T-Bone Kincaid – and write me some more heartfelt lyrics to I'm Just A Loose Cannon, Rock 'n Roll Vagina-lovin' Guy With The Loose Cannon, Rock 'n Roll Vagina-lovin' Guy Blues. Sold my soul to the devil for this, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. Don't think my song writing has ever been better.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Love & Crime

New project. Short story collection. I think it will be called something like Love & Crime. I appear to write about love and crime quite a lot. Maybe Love, Death & Crime. I'm getting it ready for the Penguin Monthly Catch gig. I want Penguin to be my publisher because I like Penguins. Failing that, I'm going to look at self-publishing, because this is fun.

Track listing goes like this:

Remembering Argos - A guy grows old. Will make you cry. Promise.

Ruben Jane - Leather jackets, loud music, drugs, love and death. Dark and beautiful. Been known to make people cry.

Blue Angeline - Hypnotic, narcotic, atmospheric. Forgotten trinkets, forgotten promises, forgotten love. I like this one even if no one else gets it.

Love Letter - A headstone can be a love letter. Sweet laughter in the cemetery. Happy tears this time.

Silver Screen Daydream - A loser in love. Funny and sad. You will laugh and want to hug Ewan.

Finding Davey - Family life gone wrong. It happens. Old age happens. Will make you sad.

Boy & Girl - Short and bittersweet.

Two Shadows - Not quite of this world, but close. Lovely and unrealistically heart-warming.

Treading Water At Turtle Bay - Proper melancholy at its heart but with some solid comedy.

Ants - An old family guy has some voyeuristic fun in the park. Unsettlingly amusing.

The Funniest Man In The World Tells A Funny Story - What, you need an explanation?

Man & Boy - I swear I had never heard of Oh The Places You Will Go before writing this. I think Dr Seuss would approve of this one.

Quick - Who is Quick? What is he? We're getting tough now. Everyone likes Quick, dark fucker that he is.

Best Man - Marriage? Love? Hahaha. Blam. It's about revenge. Bitch.

Stabulous The Clown - A story about being on acid, on acid. A vigilante in a clown suit. Fucked up and funny.

Being Groove Terminator - A case of mistaken identity that is a true story, except for the made up bits. Lots of fun. It really is a true story. Mostly.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Grumpy With Twitter

A recent Grumpy column about my bafflement with Twitter. I gave it a go and I just don't get it. It just feels utterly pointless and yet another way to waste time on the internet... and a pretty annoying one at that. It must be me though because a gazzilion tweeters can't be wrong, can they.

Anyway, click n the image, then again to make it readable, and enjoy.

I'm off to post a link on Facebook now and see what everyone is up to.

See? Who needs Twitter when there's Facebook?