Will Self: PsychoGeography - Little Englander

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The Independent Online

... You take my impotence for example. Up until a few years ago the old todger was as big as a bloody battering ram: I used to fear my erections. Since then, well, I blame Nigerian traffic wardens. They come over here, can't speak the lingo and strut about the place slapping tickets on anything that moves – it's intimidating. I was coming out of the Cross Keys in Wilmslow and there was one of the bastards skulking under the moot hall having plastered a big yellow sticky one right across the Range Rover's windscreen. Well, I went to have it out with the blackguard – I wasn't about to be intimidated! I fought in eight world wars and put down the bloody Mau-Mau, man, armed only with a Martini-Henry! Anyway, to begin with he's cringing and scraping, but then he pulls some ghastly little fetish out of his tunic. Looks like a cat's paw wrapped in a hairball all tied round with kidney stones – fair gave me the willies, ha! If you'll forgive the pun – or rather, anti-pun – because it didn't give me the willies, it took mine away! Ever since I gave that illegal immigrant chappie a rollicking I haven't even caught sight of poor John Thomas, seems he's completely hidden away inside me. Saw the same thing in Malaya during the Emergency in the Fifties, native wallahs would get the damn-fool idea their meat'*'veg were sort of retreatin' inside their bodies – latah they call it – thing is, in their case it was a bloody fantasy, in mine it's a reality. My missus, well, she may be getting on but she has certain perfectly reasonable expectations: a Tory government, no one frightening the horses, no redevelopment in Hungerford High Street, Sunday afternoon rumpy-pumpy right after matins – you get the photo. When I realised I wouldn't be able to service the old mare I got pretty antsy, I can tell you. Went to see the quack sharpish. Well, she's only some junior harridan sporting a Harriet Harman horror mask, ain't she. Has the bloody nerve to tell me I ought to be cutting out the sleepy Ribena and the fags at my age. My age! I explored the Lost-bloody-World and climbed the Empire State Building with my mits up Fay Wray's jacksie so the likes of her could have free school milk. The chit wouldn't even write me a prescription for Viagra, told me it was "contra-indicated" for a man of my age. That wasn't going to stop me, oh no. Jimmie Wemyss, mine host at the Bald Eagle in Netheridge told me about this interweb thing, and how a chap can get anything he needs with a push of a button, so I ordered the contraption from little Freddie Dixon, and when it pitched up, he came up and got me started. Turns out you don't even need to go looking for the stuff, there are all sorts of obliging fellows out there who send jolly emails offering Viagra, Cialis, and even this sleepy Ribena in pill form called Ambien. But before I could even divvy up the old Diners' Club I got rather sucked into correspondence with them. I mean, I'm not lonely or anything, but the trouble and strife spends an awful amount of time with her committee work, and early February... well, the time before opening can lay heavy on a chap's hands. Besides, when you get a tinkle out of the blue yonder headed FuckStickAmpleFloyd, or GargantuanPenisBeau, well, it's a tonic in itself. I began writing back to Karen Knutsin, Stanislaw Baczmonski, Kumar Senthil, and all the other obliging souls out there in hyperworld. Nothing too personal, just stuff about the village, who's breaching planning regs with his fucking dreadful conservatory, and who's dipping his sheep in liquid MDMA then rogering 'em – harmless gossip, really.

Back they come – my emails – with more exciting headings: BodyPartEnlargedShawn and BarneySchlongBroad, well, I mean, who are they when they're at home! If they ever are at home. I imagine they're "hanging out" on some Thai beach or other, with a whole tribe of itty-bitty little fillies to satisfy their every urge. Natural Manhood Enhancement, Watch it bigger day by day! – that's what they were offering me, but I preferred to keep 'em at arm's length. I said to Giles Woode at the Cock and Bull in Bent Parva: Y'know, I'm almost grateful to that bloody Nigerian for opening up a whole new realm of experience for me – it's something you don't expect at my age. Turns out Giles is no stranger to PenisPlumpingCarla himself. I'd no idea that – to coin a phrase – he needed "easily to get male package". Always assumed he'd lost it all together during the Suez Crisis. Ho-hum, another bottle of Ribena, or are you riding?

'PsychoGeography', a collection of columns by Will Self and Ralph Steadman from 'The Independent Magazine', is published by Bloomsbury, price £17.99