"The car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows
The government is corrupt
And we're all so many drunks
With the radio on and the curtains drawn".
Not my words, the words of erstwhile Canadian glumsters Godspeed and the Black Emperors. But are they correct and has the arse fallen out of our world? Should we just stuff our fat maws with cake and wait for the inevitable, sorry end?
Or, in sharp contradistinction, are they talking out their hole? Maybe that Obama fellow can save the world and have us whooping and ticker-taping like billy-o by summer.
This is all "bigger-picture" stuff, way beyond the ken of the bons viveurs, cultural commentators and First Ministers of minutiae who comprise the I&OC.
In summary, Ins and Outs am here!
In homage to Sid James, wearing a trilby hat indoors.
Between supper courses, picking your back molars with an ebony tooth-pick whilst recounting an amusing story about Virginia Woolf's sister Tillie and the nephew of King Leopold of Belgium.
Claiming to be a Monster Trucks aficionado, going to all the meetings and that, when in reality, your interest is, at best, tepid.
Crying at the bus stop.
Spending one's entire life regarding everything and everyone around you with ill-concealed contempt.
Using the French salutation "Coucou!" instead of "hello".
Spending a Saturday afternoon having a good old muddle round the shops with your sister, with a view to buying a nice top to go with your black trousers.
When drinking in low-rent establishments (Bigg Market, social clubs, that type of thing), passing a pleasant hour or so spotting Lasses Who Look Like Bez.
Swedish disco-baggy pop scamps The Tough Alliance.
Claiming to be unaffected by the financial downturn because "after all, people will always want abortions".
Eating Roquefort, wearing Rockports.
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.
Claiming to have been in the thick of it when the balloon went up in Phnom Penh in '79, despite being clearly no older than 28.
Reluctantly declaring that from next Monday, you will no longer be keeping it crunk.
The Swiss cantons Glarus, Schaffhausen and Zug. They're ace!
Knowing a darling little place in town where the crêpes are simply To Die For.
The sumptuous arrangement of exquisite classical marble busts and fine silken drapes found in the windows of licensed slot machine/amusement arcades.
Scientology. It sounds canny.
Engaging in a fairly one-sided discussion of the poems of Friedrich Schiller with the woman in the dry cleaners, who, frankly, would rather get back to studying photos of Kate Garraway's arse cellulite in her chat magazine.
Spending valuable time worrying whether the plural of "milf" should, in fact, be "milves".
Derby day Pre-Match Tension.
Being transfixed by the stark, austere beauty of a snow-coated winter landscape. "Ooh, look at me, I'm all sensitive, squeezing the cheese over a bit snedge and trees and that".
Claiming to be enjoying a healthy fruit-filled smoothie at work, when really you're swigging strawberry Angel Delight from a big glass.
Top Shop crop tops.
Having given up drinking for a month, joining pointless Facebook groups to save at-risk pubs, ignoring the irony inherent in such behaviour.
Bringing your own cue to the pub to play pool.
Cup-a-soup. The mug-based soup solution of the fool.
Miserly casanovas constantly making rueful comparisons between the cost of drinks, meals, gifts etc for their current paramour and the competitive tariffs of the bar girls from that holiday they had in Bangkok.
The Great Auk. It isn't great. It's shite.
The price of bread these days. Eeeh, it's a ruddy disgrace.
Reckoning that "Puppetry of the Penis" is a better show than "The Vagina Monologues" on the basis that, with the former, you at least get to see them.
Receiving an e-mail from a former female who's now a shemale.
At a critical juncture in a romantic encounter, breathily intoning "Okay toots, make like Elbow and throw those curtains wide".
Having several recipes that utilise aubergine and being only too prepared to talk at length about them.
Beginning most of your sentences with the words "I think" when there is nothing about you that suggests that you do it well.
Loudly complaining to your friend that that bloke across the way has been staring at you all night, mentally undressing you, before having it pointed out that you are currently working as a pole dancer.
Asking the barber for a haircut that will lend you an air of "someone out of The Animal Collective".
"Have fun with it" corner:
GYBE - Dead Flag Blues