Monday, 24 October 2016

This week will be better than last week

Last week wasn't that bad, to be honest. It started weak: two people plus me RSVPd to a meetup on Deansgate Locks, but I was the only one to turn up. The whole of the Locks was dead anyway. I waited a while but it didn't pick up. If the two RSVPs had bothered showing up, we could have made a decision to look elsewhere, but no, they wanted me to make that decision for them before they came out. No deal. They've been marked as no-shows. My understanding is, they have two more strikes and then they're barred from the group.

After this my week picked up: I was on local radio station Key 103's Key Lates chat show for the second time in a month- this time about dumping via text and whether it's okay (I don't think it is, but it's pretty normal in my experience, whether it's dumping or being dumped). Presenter Adam's take on my situation: I'm going to the wrong places. Shame nowhere else seems to work for me either!

My ticket for The Warehouse Project has been bought by someone on Resident Advisor, so I've got my money back.

Saturday night: I went out with three women to Spinningfields. Standard. We went over to the Left Bank, at the back of the newly-developed nightlife complex, to the River Irwell and the bars that line it. The newest bar there is Menagerie, a bar and restaurant featuring aerial dancers. Imagine chowing down on steak whilst some blonde in a suspended hoop spins around over your head.

I think it would be great.

A photo posted by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A photo posted by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

Nice little bar. Oh, I spotted Scott and Kady from Love Island on my way out.

After this we headed to The Northern Quarter and to Guilty, where the only girl I spoke to turned out to live down the road from me in Oldham. I don't think either of us were too pleased about that. We were probably both well-intentioned people, but we both went out in Manchester to get away from Oldham.

A photo posted by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

Fit though.

So. What will make this week better?

First, Oldham's Odeon is open. I don't mind being in the town centre provided I'm hiding in a darkened room. I took a look today, and watched Trolls in 3D.

It cost me £9 in the middle of a Monday. I'll be honest, that's a rip-off for any film. In a few months, the DVD will cost that much in Tesco. The new multiplex is having some growing pains: there was no-one to stop us walking into the room before the previous film had finished- no staff in the actual corridor for the screens. It wasn't obvious where the 3D glasses were, and when I eventually found them one member of staff tried to charge me for them. The screening was late, so they ran it without trailers, which I wasn't happy about: I like to see what's coming up. The film itself was a little hit-and-miss: incredible visuals and colouring, but this was pinned to a cliche'd story. The trolls don't look much like the troll figures I remember from my childhood, and they burst into song at the most random of moments. Lots of Dreamworks / Disney Pixar films tend to be loaded with double entendres or highbrow wit for the adults in the room, but that was sadly lacking in this one.

Odeon are going to have to drop their prices if they want people to visit. Nobody in Oldham has any money.

Friday: Bongo's Bingo returns to Albert Hall... with Fatman Scoop! Can I get a what-what?! The Celebrity Big Brother star and rapper will be joining Johnny Bongo, Sweaty Betty and Slutty Sue for another mental bingo popcorn rave in a refurbished church. What exactly Scoop's involvement would be I don't know. I dread to think, in fact. There's nothing on Meetup regarding this yet but there may be soon... and if you're looking for Halloween meetups, I've spotted 5 themed events in my suggestions. You're an adult. Have a look!

More events are planned already for the coming weeks. I'll tell you next Monday. Or, look on Meetup!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Is Hillary Clinton a Huge Equilibrium Fan?

Who remembers Equilibrium, the 2002 Sci-Fi action romp vehicle featuring a young Christian Bale?

You might notice towards the end Bale sports a striking white mandarin suit for his visit to meet the almost-mythical, revered, 'Father' figure.

Away from movies now, and into the frighteningly dystopian future that could await America (and the rest of the world) if Donald Trump becomes president. In the last three presidential debates, Hillary Clinton has worn red, blue and white respectively- the colours of the American flag. Much has been made of this. But did anyone notice, in that final debate, the resemblance to Christian Bale's attire in Equilibrium? 

I wouldn't put it past her to have a gun kata under her belt, especially if you're going up against a nutter like Trump. If Trump had interrupted her perhaps forty times, instead of the THIRTY SEVEN times he did, maybe that would have been her breaking point. Maybe only then would she have whipped out her sword and two modified Berettas, shot him 12 times inside a second and lopped off the front of his face with a single swipe of her katana before his obese body could hit the stage floor.

Or maybe she would have continued to have been dignified and patient, and made her way to being the 45th – and first female- US president.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Oldham's Old Town Hall Opens to the Public

Last night Oldham's new 'Old Town Hall' swung its doors wide to the public after a grand opening. A local youth performance group told a story of a young girl called Freya and her granddad... and the Oldham Giant.

Pretty moving story in all fairness, and hopefully instilled a sense of local pride in youngsters today. Our town's been bashed by the national media for decades now- think the race riots of 2001, the Panorama investigation into Yorkshire St's nightlife and the violence that came with it, and of course the Moors Murders. None of that was mentioned of course, but Freya still felt her options and her future were limited as she grew up in Oldham. But with the help of her granddad, and of the introduction of the lumbering papier mache giant, and a rousing theme tune, Freya begins to believe her town can be great again- like it was in her granddad's stories.

Impressive visuals, featuring aerial dancers and surrealist projections onto the facade of The Old Town Hall. Also decorated with projected images were the buildings opposite the Old Town Hall: The RBS and local coffee shops. After a short speech from Cllr Jean Stretton, MP Jim McMahon cut the ribbon and the crowds filtered into the renovated 175-year-old Grade II listed building. I joined the back of the queue and took a look around- the layout is quite unique with the Costa Coffee looking out onto Yorkshire St but the entrance to that unit down a corridor. The Odeon and all their signage has been designed to look modern but also to contrast against the vintage tiling which has been left exposed.

I'll drop in over the next few days to get food and a movie.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Oldham's Old Town Hall Officially Opens

Press and dignitaries attended the opening of the new “Old Town Hall,” the new entertainment complex in Oldham. I watched from the shadows- my blag email request to the mayor's office was politely declined. Cllr Jean Stretton cut the ribbon on the £37m building, which includes a cinema and restaurants, as aerial dancers performed- presumably rehearsing for tomorrow night's public opening. She was flanked by dignitaries and the press (oh, and some kind of papier mache giant) as visual displays were projected onto the building's restored facade. The front of it looks fantastic. The back... is it ready?

Tomorrow night the Old Town Hall opens to the public. I fancy having a wander around!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Double Entry

This is a short story I wrote back in 2011. It was turned down by 9 magazines and accepted by one, an online pubication called Oysters and Chocolate which then shut down. It's a pretty graphic tale, so be warned.


Double Entry

Richard stands in all-black, his back against the unlit street wall, his breath misty in the night air, and watches her.

She's across the adjoining street, walking on the footpath on the other side of the junction, the clip-clop of her stilettos reverberating off the houses. When she walks past him, a few metres away, Richard's lust overwhelms him.

Who wears a denim skirt that short, he thinks, on a night like this? Are you serious, woman?

He finds himself following her, a few paces behind on the other side of the road. He clenches his fists. He can't make himself stop what he's going to do. There were times when he couldn't stop himself before. Tonight is no different. Hands shaking, he rolls down his balaclava.

And that's when she turns and looks right at him.

His heart leaps. Decision time. Walk away now? She's not got much to tell the police. Act on instinct?

She looks nervous, which excites him more. He has made up his mind. She trots on a few more paces, quicker now, her wrists out for balance, and stops at a door. She fumbles in a handbag, shakily drawing out a key. Then she bends forward, checking the lock with a strange intensity, and pushes the key in slowly, her butt stuck out.

When she's got the door open, Richard is already running at her.

She walks in and doesn't even put her hand on the door to close it. Richard has already darted across the road and slammed his way into her corridor, breathing heavily. She has turned to face him, waiting, standing very still, her chin down, her breath shaky.

Then Richard dives at her. He drops to one knee and grips the back of her ankles, taking her legs out towards him. It's a move he'd planned beforehand. She lands on her arse and Richard scrabbles forward, panting, out of control.

“No,” she whimpers, terrified. “No.” Then, in a strangely authoritarian voice, like a mother disciplining an infant, “No. You've got to do it from behind.”

He takes his hands off her skirt, fingers twitching. What? he thinks.

“Look,” she says, gripping his hands and impatiently pressing them on her hips. “Turn me over. I don't want to see you.”

Richard still doesn't move.


Richard turns himself- they are both facing the door, and the figure in the corridor.

Hey, thinks Richard. His balaclava's just like mine.

“What the fuck is this?” asks The Figure. To the woman, he says, “The dating agency said it would just be me and you!”

There's a second-long silence in the room, but in Richard's brain there's a whirring sound, as if an old projector and its audio have just been kicked back into life.


“That's what they told me too,” Richard says, although he has no idea what he's talking about himself.

“For fuck's sake,” says the woman. “All right. Shut the door. We'll talk this through.”

Richard's lust has drastically ebbed. She sounds bored, like most women did when he could be bothered to actually date them.

“Listen,” she says, rolling her skirt back down. “You're gonna have to tell me your names, so I can straighten this out with the agency.”

“No!” barks The Figure. He's nervous. “I'm not telling you my name; I'm not taking my balaclava off.”

“Why not?” She asks.

He sighs, looks at the bottom of the room, as if he'll find the answer there. “I run an accounts business in town,” he says. “I've got adverts all over the place with my face on. No way.”

“Fair enough,” Richard says quickly, feeling claustrophobia kick in. He just wants to get out of there. He thinks of an advert he saw in a bar above a urinal:


“Just... so we don't cross paths”, the woman says, turning to Richard, “you go out the back door.” Turning to the figure, she says, “You, out the front.”

The Figure stands, staring at them both.

Richard guesses that The Figure is thinking he's being ripped off, that Richard is getting more out of this than him. Well, he thinks, Maybe I kind of already have. Under his balaclava, he smiles to himself.

“Fuck!” The Figure turns marches out of the front door and slams it, hard, behind him.

The woman steps to Richard. “Stay for a drink,” she says, a hand on his chest.

He smiles. What a dumb bitch, he thinks, and starts to wonder when's the best moment to pounce.

She walks him back to the couch. He steps back until his heels hit the seat and he falls back into it.

“SoCo and Coke?” She turns, looks at him over her shoulder, smiling, flirting.

“Yeah,” he says, thinking it's weird that she actually wants him here.

She walks into the kitchen, out of sight.

Play along, Richard thinks to himself. “Gonna have to have words with that agency,” he says. I didn't even know there were places that set up deals like this, what, rape fantasy? I wish I could ask her. I'd love it.

“I bet you are,” she says, and because she's raising her voice there's something that sounds like sarcasm in her tone.

He doesn't question it, though, as he realises he wants to play along, to consent. He can't remember the last time a woman did.

She steps back into the lounge and hands him the fizzing, black drink.

He takes a big gulp as she sits down next to him. This is going to be easy, he thinks.

“It's been kind of a strange night, hasn't it?” she asks, stroking his thigh.

His skin tingles, and he can't figure out if it feels good or not. One thing he has figured out: bad people get what they want. He's proved it before with women, and he's proving it again.

“You could say that,” he says, smiling to himself. You have no idea, woman.

He takes another sip as her hand slides up to his crotch. Something is wrong, though. He can't get hard, and his stomach has started to hurt.

“Come here,” she says, and starts to peel back his balaclava.

He lifts his hand up to stop her, but it feels heavy. He realises he can taste something dusty on his tongue. His face feels moist and cold, exposed to the room's air, as she throws the balaclava on the carpet. He's slumped, exhaling shallowly through his nose.

“I know you're not from the agency, boy,” she says, still flirting.

Richard recognises something sinister. This isn't just a come-on.

“I asked for a man in black. Those trainers aren't black.”

He looks down, cursing his white Nikes, then looks up to his glass. Dusty residue has gathered on the surface where his lips were. That's what I can taste, he thinks. “Bitch,” he mumbles, and lifts his arm to throw the glass at her. It bounces off her bare legs, soaking the carpet.

“Correct,” she states, turning, and unzips her denim skirt and pulls it down. She walks away.

Still leaning forward after the throw, his balance is off and he lands on his hands and knees, panting. He can see her at the back of the room, bent forward like when she unlocked the door. She's looking in a cupboard, reaching right to the back of it. She pulls out something purple and long, with straps hanging off it. She lays it on the linoleum, the dildo pointed at Richard's grounded face, and steps into it. His lips, squashed between the floor and his teeth, look like they are puckering up for a kiss.

As she fixes the straps around her waist, he growls in frustration and tries to lift himself up.

“You've brought this on yourself, boy,” she says, and he recognises lust in her voice.

I couldn't stop myself, he thinks, balancing on his knees.

She walks past him, the dildo eye-level to him, her heels clip-clopping on the linoleum, sounding like when he first saw her. Then he feels one of those stilettos dig into his spine, forcing him face-down again, and her firm hands grip his hips.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Olympics Homecoming Parade in Manchester

Monday 17th October saw our Olympic athletes parade down Deansgate and into Albert Square, and along the way they were greeted by the TV cameras and thousands of proud fans and supporters. And a downpour, of course. Me and my mum were two of the fans who came out for the Olympics Homecoming Parade.

We found a spot halfway down Deansgate, where we spotted Stuart Flinders from Northwest tonight doing a Piece To Camera. Then the parade made its way down the street, bookended by drummers and dancers, with a succession of articulated lorries carrying the Olympic and Paralympic athletes grouped by their sports. The floats were punctuated by gold Nissan Leafs, provided by the car brand who sponsored Team GB. Who do you recognise?

The Nandos chicken getting in on the action

Taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones MBE

Taekwondo silver medallist Lutalo Muhammed

Radio 1's Mark Chapman interviewing the athletes

A great atmosphere (aside from the rain). Today the athletes are in London doing the same! The weather is likely to be better there. I wonder if there'll be any imposters in London?!