Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly takes out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram. Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He makes a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which is confirmed when he sees what looks like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must be the heart, Egon figures. The stern police-woman’s superior is leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decides it is high time to disappear in the crowd.
This is the first episode of DALSTON NOIR, a weekly Noir-Hipster-Crime-Serial set in London Fields.
Intro: Meet Egon Schmuck, 37, Hobby-Detective and antihero, at times filled with existential angst (due to not getting out enough) but mostly calm and currently unemployed. He’s deeply indebted to the UK welfare state because with some housing benefit and the odd cash-in-hand jobs he survives, and not badly. The seeming wilfulness of his fashionable outfits hides a time-intensive approach of carefully considering various juxtapositions until a satisfying new combination of his Oxfam bargains has transpired. This process takes almost as long as it took forming the sentence about it. Oxfam has proven a haven for time-rich and purpose-seeking people like Egon and hours fly by when browsing the extensive book section, trays with cutlery and colourful postcard boxes. Whenever nosy citizens have the cheek to ask Egon, what he does for a living, he replies as throwaway as possible that he is a freelancer, remaining vague about the actual nature of his non-work. Egon calls himself a London native (though he was born in a little village in Shropshire), his roaming ground is London Fields, not Dalston as he likes to point out, a great place to watch the human condition pass by, filling him with existential thoughts as he sips his coffee on Broadway Market.
Episode #1: Trouble on Kingsland Road
Egon checks his bank account and wonders whether he’ll make it till the end of the month when his housing benefit comes in. Lost in anxious thoughts, he walks down Balls Pond Road, when his attention is suddenly drawn to a crowd of people. His anxiety disperses instantly as he realises that today is his lucky day, as he has just happened upon a crime scene, and he elbows his way into the crowd of ogling by-standers. Continue reading →
Winter carries the whiff of VapoRub, running noses, parkas, Disney-inspired, tinsel-heavy wonderlands (making you wonder a lot), not wanting to leave the house, man leggings, simmering family feuds surfacing over under-cooked Brussels sprouts, recycled Christmas gifts, optimistic diets and even more optimistic New Year plans, frostbite, reindeer jumpers, pretending Christmas is not happening by loudly singing Heatwave over schmaltzy Santa songs and always remembering that most things can be solved with a glass of mulled wine and chocolate coated gingerbread. Continue reading →
14 Stages of Developing the Malaise & How to Combat None of Them
But first of all, how do we attract this most alluring of possible mates?
Work non-stop for an extended period of time.
Make sure you take a combination of underground transport, where the air-shafts and sudden bursts of icy drafts send shivers down your spine.
Take your coat off as soon as you enter the stuffy, crowded, germ-infested carriage.
Work in a place which has air-conditioning so that getting used to an artificially induced cold in late October will make your system work overtime.
Ignore any signs your body sends out to slow down, cause really, it isn’t that bad.
Every time you’ve slept you will feel better until later when you don’t.
Take paracetamol and adopt the placebo-thinking that this will take care of your bodily malfunctions.
Prove to yourself that you are a hero and stronger than you think by going to work anyway. Then watch yourself falter.
What Not To Do Once the Amour Fou Has Overtaken Your Body, Mind and Soul:
Don’t walk into a 24-hour-Tesco without pharmacy with your hat pulled down halfyour face at 11 pm Friday night when the cashier is counting a stash of cash. Because by that time the throat pain is so bad that you croak at him in the hope of receiving pain killers in exchange, or any pill really.
Or A German In London *Warning: clichés and stereotypes abound
I first came to Britain on a class trip in 1992 and nothing prepared me for the melting pot that was and is London. Walking down the street, I couldn’t believe the sheer diversity of faces, nationalities, religions and cultures. This was G. E. Lessing’s dream of (religious) tolerance put into practice in everyday Britain in the late 20th century. Coming from a country where there was hardly any non-German soul living/working/studying/on benefits – this was extraordinary. Continue reading →
In order to lure you onto this page I cunningly posed a question you are dying to find the answer to. Now that I got you here you will have to stay with me until the end in order to find out which Muppet you really are.
But back to the essential bits of life. The other week a friend complained about not being able to go online for 2! hours, sending her into a spiral of Weltschmerz and meaninglessness. Not a stranger to smug replies, I suggested, try reading a book.
That’s when karma got me by the derriere. Only when it happened to me, it wasn’t just 2 hours but a whole week of being sans internet. And no, I couldn’t use my phone because my data-allowance is non existent.
No. Internet. For. One. Week.
I wish I could say my sense of smell returned, or that I perceived colours more colourfully, or that suddenly there was a spring in my step and the sun shone brighter. But nay. I felt bereft. Somewhere I knew that there was still purpose to my life, I just had to find it. Quickly.
In order to maintain an air of dignified calm I kept telling myself, I don’t really need internet. Even people who think they really really need internet, don’t really need internet. They think they do, which is different. I think I do, which is not. To make sure, I looked up Maslow’s pyramid of life’s necessities, starting with the basic ones and going up to more unbasic ones. My fears were confirmed, the Internet was nowhere on it.
Internet isn’t food. It isn’t housing. It isn’t friends. It isn’t air to breathe. It isn’t a life-partner, even though for some of us it might seem that way. To find out just how important the Internet is for you, answer this simple question (no, it’s not the Muppet one): Would you die without Internet?
If your answer is a firm YES than there is nothing else to do but get unlimited data allowance, grab your recharger, stay close to a plug, smile at your phone lovingly, inhale deeply and hug it very very tightly.
If your answer is NO, then really I don’t know what to say. You obviously have a life. You must have found meaning elsewhere. Maybe even in the real world. Maybe in paper-bound books. Maybe in mixed tapes you rewind by turning your finger inside the serrated hole. Maybe you found it by wiping printer’s ink off your face. Maybe you are talking to real people in the real world. You might even be hugging trees instead of looking at a picture of one.
On a whole, you are wholly superior to the rest of us phone huggers. But remember, we are in a parallel universe, so don’t get bothered by us needing to be constantly online, because, after all, we are only trying to find out which Muppet we truly are.