* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Sucking face (in a public place)

6 October 2003
Victor holds the school snogging record.

The couple who stare at each other for minutes unbroken behind steamy café windows; the couple that everyone tries to ignore in the corner of the pub; the couple who forgets to eat. That's me and you - us. We started to suck face, and now we can't stop.

Kissing when you can no longer stand up, sit upright, keep your eyes open. This is what it's all about, and it is the most important thing in the world. It restores faith - in romantic love, in the possibility of real intimacy, in the benefits of a diet of endless cups of tea.

My sister (who's 14) says her mate Jodie snogged her mate Tom in her bedroom wardrobe for 45 minutes. At 17 hours we've beaten them tongues down. At their age I snogged all over the place - the squash courts, the biology lab, the tuck shop after hours - because a shag was out of the question. It was a case not so much of articulating my passion as of tonguing until I passed out through lack of oxygen.

Somehow we have remembered how to kiss for kissing's sake, regaining the intensity of teenagers for whom it isn't merely foreplay. Adolescent languor returns too, and a slower pace of life: lazing around all day talking, laughing, listening to music, skulking around so as not to get caught by adults. It's a throwback to the Golden Age, before man knew how to fashion weapons, when crops sprung up by themselves. But now that we can kiss with confidence, we find that we have ourselves become an object of embarrassment for the local youth, next door's nine year old tomboy voicing her disgust in no uncertain terms.

Snogging repels only those not currently engaged in it themselves: we are oblivious to the working mother queuing behind us at the cash machine, the lads propping up the bar, the old dear in the home baking aisle. They are reminded of what they have been missing, what has been long lost or forgotten. We reopen old wounds of briefly requited, now lost love, hidden pain, suppressed grief. We make this loss visible, inescapable.

"Can't they save that for later when they're on their own?" As far as we're concerned, we are. We are heroes, mighty warriors locked in brutal, bittersweet, mouth-to-mouth combat. We are convinced that no one else has ever experienced anything like this; we are stronger, faster, more intelligent. Previous lovers eat dust as we charge across the battlefield.

And somewhere in the back of my mind an awkward question presents itself, "Who am I fighting - them or you?" I'll try not to let it spoil things.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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