to be like? There’ll be bukkake movies that start like Zulu —a girl knowing that she’s going to get fucked by the whole horizon. Or maybe their porn is just a 90-minute shot of a running tap. Things are only going to get worse—BT is bringing in 40 MB broadband. They say it will herald a new dawn in communications and synergise media formats. Blah, blah, blah. The only reason anyone is getting excited is it means feature-length porn films in seconds, instead of sitting there with the Kleenex and The Big Book of Sudoku . Personally I think this universal access to limitless, high-definition porn will destroy civilisation more surely than a direct asteroid hit. There’s a horrible irony in the fact that the machine we have to use for most of our work contains the most distracting imagery possible. Writing this book has taken a tremendous act of will. You know why War and Peace is so long? Tolstoy’s inkwell didn’t have tiny people fucking in it. I have a theory that our sex drives were put in place to keep us talking to each other, so we make progress as a species. There were whole years where I’d never have left the house if I hadn’t been trying to get laid. I’m vaguely in line with the Freudian thing that everything we do is an attempt to get more sex. Look at the spaceshuttle. Those scientists built that so they could tell ladies about it. Could it look more like a giant metal dick? I don’t even think they need that main fuel tank—it’s just an aesthetic cock flourish. The male sex drive definitely feels like more of a curse than a blessing. I was in Berlin on my holidays this year and went to every museum, a standard middle-class non-drinker’s way of pretending that he can enjoy himself. There’s one that has the whole entranceway to a Babylonian temple. You can literally walk down a whole corridor that looks exactly as it would when you were coming through the ancient city of Babylon—it’s beautiful. Before I walked down it I tried to empty my mind and imagine I was actually an ancient Babylonian, going to make a sacrifice. Every step of the walk I was transfixed by the visible top of a German tourist’s knickers, and the washing instructions sticking out of them. I think there is a lot that we don’t understand about our sex drives. Scientists have discovered that apes will exchange meat for sex. And by scientists I mean a clinically depressed butcher going through a rather messy divorce. If a male chimpanzee shares meat with a female he will double the amount of times he can copulate with her. That probably explains why I’ve been taking bunches of bananas up to the zoo and getting nowhere! Forget apes, I’ll exchange meat for sex. I’ve got everything we need to start the transaction: a freezer full of Turkey Twizzlers and a hard-on. And yes, that is my most recent Facebook update. I might not get to shag a monkey but there’s a fighting chance Fern Britton will be in touch.
SIX The summer I left school I got a job as a library assistant, my first opportunity to really bond with homosexual men and women going through the menopause. I was really unbelievably terrible at it, as I have been at every job I’ve had. The problem is this: all jobs seem to involve receiving a certain amount of oblique sniping or criticism that you are supposed to put up with. I simply can’t be fucked, not even a little bit. On the first day in that job an old posh gent had a go at me for some forgotten reason and I told him to fuck off. I think he was so shocked that he literally couldn’t process it and just wandered off. When I was growing up the library had a truly shit selection. A biography section labelled ‘Famous Lives’ is always a bad sign. The library was just somewhere warm to go that was out of the house. As a consequence I read everything there that interested me and had to start on things that really didn’t. I’ve read quite a few terrible thrillers by Hammond Innes and Frederick