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Friday 10th April 2009

Back in early 1999 I was walking through Hammersmith one day, daydreaming and had a sudden premonition of the whole place in flames. I think at the time I was obsessing about Nostradamus (I was writing a play about his prediction that the world was about to end), but it was an odd vision to project itself into my mind. Today I thought maybe my chilling prophecy had come true, when my friend Dan texted me a picture of Hammersmith on fire. Was I the new Nostradamus?
It was though, just the offices of Coca Cola that were burning and only smoke was visible in the picture. In my foretelling of future events, the whole place was aflame and more pertinently, I was clearly there to observe it.
But for a few seconds I still felt like some kind of supernatural being, until logic kicked in and reminded me that if you keep predictions vague and attach no specific date to them then they are pretty much bound to come true at some point between now and the end of time. What would be more extraordinary is if there hadn't been any fires in Hammersmith in the last ten years. I can't take any credit for necromancy yet. But I am hoping that one day I will be vindicated and that all of Hammersmith will burn, as I stand outside Marks and Spencers (back entrance) - where the vision took place- looking at the fire consuming everything around me, including, presumably, my own useless body. Then I will laugh. Because I will have been proven right.
Anyway glad for the moment that Hammersmith still stands, but it is most surely a forewarning of the end of days. You see if I am wrong.
I had been a bit hungover again and didn't get much done beyond some silliness on Twitter. Having bought myself two hot cross buns to celebrate the death of Jesus - TV's Emma Kennedy has just tweeted saying she's glad Jesus died or we wouldn't have got hot cross buns, I have replied, "Imagine the cakes he'd have magicked up for us if we hadn't killed him. & they'd've been free and appeared whenever we wanted them," which I think puts her childish blasphemy into some kind of context.
But eating two hot cross buns made me start singing the Hot Cross Buns song in my head.
"Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns."
Now ignoring the inflationary issues that have made this song seem quaintly ridiculous (the buns were one for 45 pennies), I was more struck by the strange marketing and pricing strategy. Are they one a penny or two a penny? Is the vendor just terrible at haggling and has immediately halved his price, without waiting to see if anyone will bite? Or is it a choice? You can have one for a penny or if you prefer two for a penny. And in which case who would go for one a penny? If it's a buy one get one free offer, then why even bring the one a penny thing into it? Or are there two sizes of bun, the first of which is one for a penny and the second of which is two for a penny, because they're smaller? The song should make this clearer. Or all hot cross bun sellers should have to honour the code. So if it cost 45 pennies for one bun, then that's how much it should cost for two. And the consumer should be able to cite legal precedent, in the form of song in order to claim the discount. And if you chose to pay with an old fashioned one pence, old money piece, then that should be legal hot cross bun tender for the day. That is the first law I am bringing in when I am king.
If you know why the song says "one a penny, two a penny" I would be interested to hear the reason.
The other bit got to me more though and is further evidence of the way that the childless are penalised,
"If you have no daughters, give them to your sons. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!"
What if I have no sons either? Who do I give my strangely priced buns to? A tramp? A duck? Someone else's kids - I could get into trouble handing out sticky buns to kids I don't know. Why does the song assume everyone has children? What if I am infertile or too ugly to breed? How the song mocks me at every corner.
And if I had daughters and sons, the song seems to be indicating that I should give the buns to my female offspring and not the male. Which would surely only create divisions and problems in the household. The song could equally scan with "Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons" and still have the sons/buns rhyme, but the confused songwriter wants any daughters to be fed the buns and boys to only get them if there are no girl children, in what is perhaps an arch satire of the primogeniture nature of the succession to the throne. Whilst girls are relegated in that circumstance, at least when it comes to buns they get to win.
Still that doesn't help me, the childless man who has failed to fulfill my biological purpose or reproduction. Not only do I not get to spend Sunday with a houseful of insane toddlers, off their tits on chocolate, running around and smashing the place up, I also have nothing to do with my hot cross buns.
The song might as well say, "If you have no daughters, give them to your sons,
If you have no children, then stick them up your bum,
One a penny two a penny, hot cross buns."
Don't allow the fertile and the fecund to treat us more responsible human beings as second class citizens. They are just shooting more human beings out of their genitals and adding to the world's problems, whilst we are preventing global warming and overcrowding by shooting our gametes harmlessly into the wind.
Did Jesus have children? Ignoring Dan Brown's wild claims. No he didn't. He just saved up all his gametes for when he was dead in his little cave and spunked them up on to his shroud, so it would go all yellow and stiff and stick to him and create a perfect image of his face and body - you can't see his genitals because they're all blurred out because they were constantly moving in there.
Follow Jesus' example. I am increasingly believing that all the world's problems would be solved if everyone just spent their whole time wanking.

I saw "Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness" at the Soho Theatre tonight. A really enjoyable, thought provoking and slightly disgusting play from the brilliant Anthony Nielson. He really is a genius. But you have to see the play to fully understand that remark. Last night tomorrow, don't know if it's touring the country, but check it out if you can. It's brilliant.

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