job application rejection letter.


hello danny..

usually i leave it to my business affairs department to send out any rejection letters, but i simply had to deal with yours personally, and hopefully privately.

when you breezed into our boardroom you blew windows through those dark sun deprived walls. i can’t even begin to express how much i loath those brown and cream suede upholstered walls i’m obligated to inhabit every tuesday afternoon, especially during summer, but you filled my dreary winter day with pure light.. i’ve never seen an interview stretch out so long, and under the table i was quietly wetting my trousers observing grim colleagues bristle at your bone dry humour and brilliant off the cuff ideas… they were intrigued, though ultimately threatened by you.

danny dear.. i can’t let you throw away your life working around here… it may look successful, but it’s a self defeating organisation relying on past glories. we made a huge mistake merging with a giant during a lean period, and now my hands are tied..i can’t do a thing anymore..i’m a mere figurehead. there’s enough money in this trap to commit any young employee to a five year contract of nothing but pure frustration…i see them come in here all wide eyed, and in no time, they’re husks of their former selves.. you’re special and so darn likeable, i can’t be complicit in breaking that hilarious spirit of yours..  i know jobs are gold dust right now but i implore you to hold out and avoid limiting situations on account of a mere need to be around game changers and trailblazers like you surely are yourself.. i’m old enough now to spot them from the far end of a room with my eyes closed… it’s rare 

here’s the thing danny… from our grey marble mezzanine, i clocked you having an anxious discussion with your girlfriend down on that cold ground floor reception.. i’m guessing money or maintaining a standard of living is an issue here in this expensive town..

so i have an idea….if money is the mind bender for you both, me and my darling wife ofra live in a very spacious townhouse up on the east side, where a swish basement was fully renovated for my 28 year old son benny who died accidentally in 2007… i’d be more than happy for you and your nervous sweetheart to stay their rent free…it’d give financial wiggle room to free up and find employment that won’t sell your potential short for the sake of a dreary wage. it could be fun for you both.

if things turn out like i hope they do, maybe i’ll be the one sending a job application your way in a few years…i know i’m older, but i love working in music related fields, and relish the idea of unlearning everything all over again.. so don’t you dare perceive my offer as a raw act of charity… i too have my own agenda… have my private number now…please keep it so…

best regards… ben silverstein


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clifford.. the high end hairdresser


a high end woman tried and failed to have clifford fired. on a sunny afternoon she came in with her hair up in one high pony tail, and asked clifford what he thought of it, and he said  “it’s nice, but aren’t cows supposed to have two horns?”

a highly disposable rock star cried like a baby when clifford threatened to tell the press about his cocaine halitosis if he didn’t allow him creative freedom with his overgrown balding thatch. clifford explained that if any star looks like shit under his watch, he comes off looking like shit also, and then duly did what any prison barber could’ve done by shaving his shit hair right down to the bone. there wasn’t a single stubble of hair left on that dickhead’s dome. he was charged two hundred pounds sterling for this one simple stroke of genius. clifford quite rightly demanded a generous tip on top of that, telling the philistine star he could’ve charged a whole lot more, cause for the first time ever, his arsehole of a face looked quite strong and distinctive. the heavy metal record label phoned up the high end salon and congratulated clifford for the radical transformation. clifford then suggested they finish off the look by buying their ugly underwhelming rock star a big pair of cheap dark aviator ray bans to cover up his dead fish eyes… so they did exactly that, and phoned back a few weeks later to tell clifford how striking the arsehole now looks in publicity photographs. an absolute revelation which manifested itself in healthier record and ticket sales… at christmas clifford got a card from the disposable rock stars management with one thousand pounds inside, along with lovely warm sincere words… “happy new year darling.. thank you for polishing the shit out of our shit…it now shines”.

great hair is a good pop song’s taxi ride to the top of the hit parade.

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adam and the alcopops

mocktailshe drank and drove everyday but never got caught. for twenty years adam the bus driver took kids to and from school without anyone ever getting hurt, but by the time he was in his mid fifties a lot of fatty tissue had built up around his rancid liver, and that was the end of him. it was a short life but his innings weren’t bad. life at least had been intoxicating.

it could have been a lot worse…his hazardous seething vitriol for anyone with the slightest degree of ambition or pretension was smothered under a warm blanket of spiked coca cola cans and fanta bottles, as he merrily drove around town in a cute red bus full of people.

every tom dick and harry came to that funeral..a medicated life had kept the kunt popular.

it’s interesting how some maniacs manage to duck and dive their way from the cradle to the grave. they keep all doctors and nurses out of it..they ignore laws while appearing to obey every single one of them..they do it so well.

adam’s son inherited his fathers hidden flaw without any of the foxiness. he goes through seasons of atonement where he apologises to anyone he ever offended.. it’s an awful style and hasn’t really worked for him. all costumers are obligated to know his dull business, and people like him make you wonder if unmedicated honesty really is the best policy.

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straight acting gay couple


todd and steve mapped their marriage out purely on the grounds of money. they fearlessly bought their one and only home in a super straight neighbourhood where the value of property either went up or stayed stable.

they got a cold reaction on arrival, but word soon got around how they were both reliable investment consultants, and funnily enough, their new neighbours, many of who suffered from status anxiety had maxed out on credit cards to keep up a 21st century beige lifestyle.

one by one steve and todd performed miracles on the shifting sands of these people finances. they’d gone from being rejected to being revered, but then weird shit started to happen… many wives started treating these rich gay men like upmarket fag bangles.. they’d attempt to wear them like fashion accessories, and a handful of husbands found something in todd and steve’s straight acting ways that made them feel at ease and explorative. when alcohol was around it all got a bit tricky, but neither todd or steve ever dared to tap into that energy.. they were shrewd men and knew it could only end in chaos, and anyway, their fetish was order and measured distance in every situation..

over a decade this restraint imbued todd and steve with a warm glow of all times they stayed well away from talking about their personal life… instead they talked about tax and property…insurance….corporate mergers..private healthcare.. it was torture for this furious bi-curious community ..steve and todd also made a policy of never taking up invites to pool parties where inebriated neighbours squared up to one another in swimwear, therefore at all times these straight acting gay men were only ever seen in crisp white or blue collared shirts and nicely fitted trousers.. it drove the woman mad, but the rubbernecking husbands were even worse… the only flesh any of them ever got to see was a good thick hairy forearm in a rolled up tailor made sleeve.

it’s funny.. what money.. will do.

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ladyboy with a synthesiser


adrian was ripped away from cambridge and badly reframed somewhere in texas, where his father couldn’t resist the money or promotion working at a major oil well. there was only one music shop for a hundred miles.. huge and charmless..nothing like the tiny sweetshops back home.. this place was more of a warehouse selling heavy metal guitars stacked high like baked bean cans in a supermarket.

way back in the arse of the shop was a smaller neglected section devoted to synthesisers, but because most of the music in the area was either heavy metal or country & western, hardly any of this unloved stock was modern keyboard technology..just old deleted editions of dusty analogue relics which were worth an absolute fortune, although the long haired balding store manager was the last to know this…

one day while adrian was messing around back there, a cute tubby guy called mike who played bass in a dull rock group caught the sound of adrian’s weird shit, and had the one and only musical epiphany of his whole life..what if, he thought…what if we had that jet noise and space bubble gurgling away inside our loud sure would make us stand out from the crowd, but then he took one last look at adrian and rejected the idea forever.

it’s not that adrian looked terribly strange…it was more the way he moved..the way he’d gently push his fingers through his thinning hair and bend one knee towards the other while sensitively mastering these obscure old synthesisers at the back of hanks music store…when he managed to squeeze a new sound out of some box, he’d let out a girly giggle and throw his head back.. mike the bass player clocked it and flinched.

somewhere in another parallel universe mike didn’t flinch… he embraced adrian by inviting him into the sanctum of his lightweight heavy metal group. there were cultural teething problems, but a plumped up audience of wide eyed music fans soon put pain relieving ice on those bruised gums… without adrian, they were unremarkable…

in an even farther out parallel universe, mike and adrian embarked on a clandestine love affair…adrian being english was attracted to dusty bollocked american boys in biker boots, while mike, in spite of himself, was drawn to adrian’s gentle effeminate ways…he’d nick name adrian ‘drain‘ which was cute, and also an operative truth.

in an even farther out parallel universe, adrain undergoes a botched sex change which sends the group sky high before killing him. the tragedy elevates them high above all the roxy music comparisons that dog them from day one..they now glow with an aura of real danger along with mythical status.

back down in this universe…mike trudges on with his pointless heavy rock group until the last of them is gold ringed, sprogged up and divorced, while adrian heads back to cambridge in england. heaven only knows what happens to that girly giggling boy.

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crap wedding that turned out alright

crap-cakethe only one in that family who escaped felt queasy opening the cream and gold envelope. out of obligation she’d always flown home to attend the weddings of her brothers, knowing all too well how yet another horse and pony show would play out.

here’s how bread rolls.. two families mixing like oil and water, brought together under the roof of a budget price country house hotel for one day dragging out into all eternity…and that’s after an hour in a joyless church where official paperwork gets signed and designed to suck any last remnant of youth or romance away forever. it’s a legal matter now.

the things julie dreads most are the uncouth table manners of her eldest brother joey, who she’ll have to endure for roughly five hours before quietly slipping away back to the airport. even though they look like twins, different experience and worldview render them hostile to one another….only this time something gorgeous happens.

after the bad dressy food, julie and he find themselves sitting outside on a bench on a manicured lawn, framed by halfhearted flower beddings done on the cheap… it’s a bit cold out here, though preferable to the protocol of organised fun going on indoors…  out of the blue joey tells her he knows he’s wrong now…he knows all his actions and constructs were bullish and self defeating…he just wants her to know he knows.he wants her to know he thinks she’s class.. the embodiment of something he too could’ve been, had he inhabited a less toxic frame of mind..and the more he gushes, the more he soaks and drowns the jealousy that dogged any chance for them ever becoming friends. he cringes about the time where he beat up her boyfriend under the pretence of being a protective brother..julie bristles at that one…it’s very close to the bone.. it blew her one and only great love affair right out of the water.

julie’s the only one who never married…she lives in paris now, and once in a blue moon she’ll send gifts home to joey..real gorgeous things…quality clothes he’ll wear that fit nice…overcoats..marino wool crew neck jumpers…summer shirts…good french cologne.. she never thought she’d ever find herself doing that. little does she know, it saves his life.. it saves him from going under while he attempts to rebuild his damaged world so late in the day.

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retired radio presenter

shepherd-dd-studio2standing by the chunky soundproofed exit door for the very last time, alan lane surveys the pale blue room from where he broadcasted forty years worth of late night radio talk show.

there is no sadness, only gratitude and exhaustion. at seventy years of age, alan is ready to end these early morning taxi rides towards a bed he tumbles into roughly around five a.m, almost every night of the week… in truth though, that taxi ride is one of his favourite things..he loves lounging in the back while the same old cabbie knows not to strike up any inane conversation, so alan can rest that deep warm husky voice of his. he loves how in these early morning hours, gliding through an anaesthetised west end, the downtime exposes the beauty of the city. he also enjoys the quiet sweeping quality of the nice car, as it sails up deserted streets towards his cluttered flat in finchley, north london.

alan walks down the narrow windowless corridor away from studio 3 for the last time and thinks about all the things his professional life had given him. he was born with the gift of the gab, but having to be alert and balanced without fail every evening for whoever rang in with good or bad opinions, distilled a level temper and clarity in alan,who in youth was a hell of a lot more hot headed. he thinks about the daily flood of information he’d been soaked in for decades which makes him mighty fine dinner table company.. he thinks about dolly his wife who he met on the team, and how her understated sophistication upped his working class game.. the only time he ever took a day off was the day she died.

at the end of the corridor on the corner, he peeps into the little stock room with the wonderful old art deco coffee machine that kept him lucid on air at four in the morning..bye bye and thanks mrs shuttleworth for keeping the machine loaded..bye bye lovely old toilet with the emerald green tiling all immaculately clean…he decides to go in for one final wee wee before activating the elevator…

it’s funny when you know your time is up…you don’t get dragged away kicking and screaming..there’s a calm feeling of resolve and acceptance..but the one thing that does feel like a punch in the guts, is when alan steps out of the old art deco lift and walks towards johnny the security officer at reception to hand in his identity card that gave him right of way every evening when he’d stagger in with pile of jazz records from his own personal collection…he loved that moment…it was a sweet and slightly egotistical thing to flounce freely through the foyer into the studios while stars and politicians waited humbly outside until a staff member ushered them in.. suddenly alan was on the outside along with all the rest of the punters, and even though it was logical and inevitable, he just wasn’t as ready for that as he thought he would be…no one ever is.

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