by IainPattison


You know, it only just occurred to me the other day that for a bloke who’s written a series of off-beat comedy books my author profiles were a little bit too serious. Not strait-laced, not exactly Queen Victoria in full grieving mode, but a tad formal, and dare I say it – pompous.


Me before the transformation

All bore rather stiff, forced-smile photos of me trying to look like a respectable author (if that’s not an oxymoron!) and featured details of my past achievements laid out like a desperate job seeker’s CV. I didn’t mention my cycling proficiency badge, but nearly everything else.

Published widely on both side of the Atlantic (yeah, okay), author of a best-selling guide to short story writing (impressive but not quite Carling), millions of published words (but so has Jeffrey Archer!) competition judge (do you get to wear a wig?) and public speaker (well, it’s not really that exciting if you do it in private…)

But where was that vital ingredient – the fun? Inside my head the voices that get me into so much trouble urging me to binge on cake and lust after my neighbour’s petrol mower, suddenly instructed me to turn my attention to being amusing.


and the new me – minus the black frock

So for the last few days I’ve been on a mission to introduce some mirth and mayhem into my biogs. Gone is the sombre, chiseled profile “head and shoulders” picture, now replaced by me looking gormless but happy.

And the thumbnail descriptions of me are now silly, surreal and irreverent. I may, if I find the time, even do a description of my thumbnail.

So why I am telling you all this? Apart from having a blog to write and being trapped in one tiny corner of my study while my wife has the carpet-fitters in (and no, it’s not a euphemism!). Truth is, I want to pick your brains. Or, more accurately, I want to tickle your funny bones.

I’m currently test driving three different versions of a silly summary that will become my “Hi – here’s who am I” write-ups. And I’d love you to tell me which one you prefer. Which, if any, is the funniest and hopefully most engaging.

No, there isn’t any payment coming your way – just my undying gratitude. (If I die the gratitude becomes null and void, see clause three, paragraph 6B.)


Dear old Jeffrey – I’ve probably had as many published words as him – but that’s definitely where all similarities end!

So let me know in the comments – what’s your favourite? A, B, or C?

A:Iain Pattison used to be miserable at the thought that he was universally shunned. But since he’s discovered that it isn’t everyone in the universe avoiding him – only those on planet Earth – he’s cheered up considerably.

He’s the author of the Quintessentially Quirky Tales humour series. Sign up for his monthly newsletter at www.iainpattison.com for gags, gossip and great giveaways.

B: After a blissful 20-year relationship with newspapers, Iain Pattison returned home to find that journalism had changed the locks, nicked his CD collection and dumped the rest of his belongings on the doorstep. Scorned but plucky, he’s been working as an author and humorist ever since. His hobbies include devouring unhealthy amounts of chocolate, crying inexplicably on public transport and re-homing neglected jokes that others have cruelly abandoned. He can be found lurking around the entrance to www.iainpattison.com

C:Having discovered that he was not The Chosen One of which the ancient prophesises spoke, Iain Pattison ditched his kaftan, sold his sandals and vowed to eke out a living as an author and humorist. Between penning funny tales, he battles to give obscure words like eke a place in polite society. He resides in Birmingham, but often feels a mysterious urge to return to his cave in Tibet for Bank Holiday weekends.

His monthly newsletter is packed with gags, author interviews, sneak previews, gossip and great giveaways. Find out more at www.iainpattison.com
Okay, members of the jury that concludes the gory evidence of my terrible humour. Please retire to your chamber and consider your verdict…
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by IainPattison


Last week I told you how much I was dreading having to sit through my first ever opera. Liz was mad keen to see Sweeney Todd – the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and had somehow convinced me to accompany her, despite me being convinced I’d find the baritone booming a/ boring and b/ hard on the ears and c/ too damn intellectual for my feeble little brain.

As a card-carrying philistine I was frantically trying to come up with an excuse to duck out my debut encounter with culture, but had been warned that it was more than my miserable life was worth to let down my beloved.

deppsweeney“You’re going to sit for three hours and watch people having their throats slashed,” she insisted. “And you’re going to sit still, pay attention, not moan or roll your eyes and not make silly jokes about fancying a pie during the intermission.”

And I was resigned to 180 minutes of tonsil torture, silly costumes, agonising arias and countless fat ladies bursting out of their corsets and into concert. I’d whittled the matchsticks I was going to wedge under my eyelids, and stapled my lips together to stop me yawning. But I needn’t have worried.

Because I surprised myself and actually enjoyed it? Because I found that I am a secret unknown opera fanatic and realised I couldn’t get enough of the musical mayhem and murder?

No, neither of those.

I needn’t have worried because magically, miraculously, I managed to dodge the whole warbling experience at the eleventh hour – blood, ballads, mutilated bodies and all.

With only twenty minutes to go before curtain up, when we should have been walking to the theatre, an urgent crisis blew up at Liz’s work and she had to drop everything to deal with it. It took an hour of phones calls and frantic emails and by the time she’d sorted out the demanding problem it was too late to make our appointment with the singing, soul-chilling, serial killer beard trimmer.

And best of all it wasn’t MY fault that we missed it!

It just goes to prove that, yes, there is a God and he looks after witless fools and wastrel blog writers. I obviously pretended to be upset at the big theatrical ‘disappointment’ but inside I was grinning. I suppose you could say I missed my dreaded Sweeney Todd fate by a whisker!



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