Late Night Omegle Chat

I had forgotten just how much fun Omegle could be. I am “You” and the stranger is “Stranger.”

You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

Official messages from Omegle will not be sent with the label ‘Stranger:’. Strangers claiming to represent Omegle are lying.

You: so is dis twitter?

Stranger: no

Stranger: twitter is stupid

You: so what is dis? is it like Bigchat?

Stranger: Omegle

Stranger: its a chat site

You: have I gone in the wrong room? This is just like when I did that thing that time

Stranger: thers no chat room

You: it is still the internets, yes?

Stranger: this is it

Stranger: yes correct

You: sometimes I imagine I am typing to people. But dis is real, yes?

Stranger: yees it is

You: that is what always is said.

You: say something I wouldnt expect you to say

Stranger: people r wierd on here

Stranger: ignore them

You: the voices?

Stranger: voces?

Stranger: are u okay?

You: yes. The people making the typing.

Stranger: what ppl what are they saying

You: Hey! You have been totally fooled. See that little red light over your left shoulder? You’re on MTV! Smile!

Stranger: lol im a psych major i was worried

You: Oh. I think I might be talking to the wrong person.

You: This is a catastrophe. This is live!

Stranger: y

You: They are never going to let me be on MTV now. My ride will never be pimped. And my crib will remain unblinged.

You: I will have to kiss goodbye to any thoughts of swigging a massive bottle of Cristal.

Stranger: im sorry lol

Stranger: i thought u were serious

You: It’s not your fault. You know if you see me on QVC, will you buy some worthless tat from me?

Stranger: lol huh

You: You know, some fake gold chains or something. A derby hat with sleeves.

You: Maybe a rock for your garden which sings Burt Bacharach songs.

Stranger: i dont boy random shit

Stranger: lol

You: Not even for me? But you have ruined my TV career. You could at least buy a full-size cardboard cutout of Jennifer Aniston from me.

You: I don’t know where you’d put it.

You: That is not my concern.

You: For example.

Stranger: well give me a hot boy one

You: Hey, can I do my stand-up routine for you?

Stranger: um

You: Basically it involves me straightening my legs.

Stranger: ok?

You: And rising from a sitting position.

You: Do you have a different stand-up routine?

Stranger: ur waiting 4 me to disconnect arent u

You: No. As you said, you are a psych major. I am starting to suspect that I have become one of your subjects.

You: You will probably write a report about me.

You: I hope you get an A, or whatever Americans get when they do well.

Stranger: thinkin about it lol

Stranger: you’d be perfect

You: Hey, you know that Sesame Street song about the alphabet?

Stranger: i do

You: It’s not so useful when you realise it can be sung using the lyrics KZVC/ PST/ AYHJNLMOG/ URX/ BQE/ WF/ I & D.

You: Try it.

Stranger: rather not

You: Go on. You can just do it in your head.

Stranger: no thanks

Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Bye, bye, Bandage

When I was a young reporter I had a good contact in the local health service. I’d cultivated her and I got some pretty decent stories out of her. But we had only ever spoken over the phone.

Then one day she said she had a dossier for me to read and said she’d bring it in to the office. I met a woman in reception, assuming correctly that it was she, and said, “Can I help you?”

She said, “Yeah, I’ve got this for that new lad, what’s his name…?

“Oh, yeah, Graham Bandage.”

When I started blogging three years ago, I didn’t want to use my real name, for a variety of reasons with which I won’t bore you, and Graham Bandage seemed the obvious choice.

Since then, I’ve come out as a writer. I was shortlisted for a screenwriting award, I’ve had bits and pieces put on here and there, and I’ve had a column in a daily newspaper for the past 15 months, all under my own name.

Last night, I even did a bit of stand-up. It didn’t go well. Don’t ask. But I was on the bill – at my own instigation – under the name Graham Bandage. And it seemed faintly ridiculous for me to be going by two names when I can barely establish myself using one name.

And Gary Bainbridge was here first. You can still call me Graham or Bandage or Graham Bandage or anything crude, if you like, and I will happily answer to it.

But I won’t be calling myself that name.

Ash Wednesday

An old blog post from March 2008.


That’s a rum one, isn’t it?

The government is planning to ban cigarette displays in shops. If you want to buy cigarettes you’ll have to buy them from under the counter.

Now, in principle, I’m all for it. I don’t like the smell of cigarettes and I’ve read, on more than one occasion, that they’re bad for you. So any little obstacles the government can put in place to slightly put people off buying cigarettes is okay in my book.

In fact, why don’t they change the name of cigarettes to something difficult to pronounce, like Zxcghrwiralzsczx, and only allow the sale to people who pronounce it correctly? They could even change the name every day, but not tell customers what it is. A bit like Rumpelstiltskin, but with cigarettes.

The only difficulty I can see with the government’s proposal is the sheer size of the counters that will be required. There’s a vast display of tobacco products behind the counter in most newsagents or supermarkets. If that’s got to go under the counter, the counter will be huge. This surely discriminates against the small in stature (not necessarily midgets, or dwarfs, primordial or otherwise) who will no longer be able to see the newsagent’s face when they’re buying the People’s Friend or a lottery ticket. So if the newsagent is making a rude expression, or putting up two fingers, they won’t know. He could be making fun of their lack of height AND THEY WOULDN’T KNOW. How dare he, in fact? How bloody dare he?

Anyway I read about this on the BBC website, which directed me to other stories about smoking. Including this one. Have a read and then pop back.

Good to have you back again. Did you read it? I couldn’t quite make it out, but apparently they’ve worked out that people who have smoked are twice as likely to become smokers as those people who never smoke.

So, what they are saying, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that people who have never smoked have never smoked. You can’t, apparently, class yourself as a smoker if you have never smoked. It would be an ontological error, in point of fact.

Staggering, I think you’ll agree. If it wasn’t for this research, paid for by the charity Cancer Research UK, I would be stumbling through life thinking that lifelong non-smokers were smokers and that youngsters who had, in the first place, despite all the medical evidence, succumbed to peer pressure and tried cigarettes, were just as likely to take up smoking as those clean-living kids who wouldn’t dream of picking up a cigarette.

With insightful research like this, I think it’s a matter of days before we sort out that cancer cure once and for all.

And that’s good news for everyone.