Journalists I’d Like to Kick the Fuck Out of: Part Two

3. Danny Wallace

There’s no way this series isn’t going well. The first instalment back in (I think) September 2010 featured Alexis Petridis and Neal Butterworth and definitely wasn’t shit. This is the second instalment and might be a bit shit. Might be. For a start Danny Wallace isn’t really a journalist, but he has written whimsical pieces for a handful of broadsheets and has a regular (whimsical) column in Shortlist and I do want to kick the you-know-what out of him so he’ll have to do.

So, Danny Wallace. I want to get away. I need to get away. I’m broke, going mad and drinking too much and I’m hoping that going away will magically sort all of this out – that somehow being somewhere that isn’t here will make me less broke, less mad and less reliant on alcohol to get me through the day. It will won’t it? Just say yes.

Which brings us slightly clumsily back to Danny Wallace whose second book, Yes Man, I found myself reading in Boscombe library yesterday. I read it – or rather, I read some of it – as a mistake. It was among the travel books (I need to get away) and I remembered someone saying to me once that my writing was a lot like Danny Wallace’s so I picked it up and read a hundred or so pages and wanted to cry.

For those of you who don’t know, Yes Man is about Danny Wallace saying ‘yes’ to stuff instead of ‘no’ to stuff and finding himself in all sorts of hilarious, improbable and probably falsified situations. His first book, Join Me, was an hilarious, improbable and probably falsified account of him “accidentally starting a cult”. This is the kind of caper that he gets up to. He wrote a travel column for (I think) the Guardian about going around Australia with his (probably) lovely wife and visiting big tomatoes or something. He can write about anything now. He’s in a situation where he can go to his agent or publisher or a newspaper editor and say: “I’d like to do something where I go around the world talking to fish who wear hats” and they’d say yes. Or:  “How about a column in which I document my crazy decision to wear ONLY red trousers with yellow shirts or ONLY yellow trousers with red shirts. And I do this for a year. Don’t worry, I can make most of it up.” Or: “Maybe I should just say “Ooohh” for a whole year, or eat my underpants for breakfast, or fuck all of the truck drivers in Leeds…” and people who commission this stuff would say yes yes yes.*

This is what I want (perhaps not the truck drivers) and I’m jealous and the reason behind this vitriol is I know that if Danny Wallace had come up with the idea of Pitching the World he would have made a success out of it, would have landed a book deal and column and television series. What have I landed? I’ve landed night terrors, crumbling self-esteem, a growing problem with addictions and eczema on my hand. The idea behind this project is good, but the execution has been woeful. Perhaps I should lie about stuff more, like Danny Wallace does.

Danny, if you’re reading this I don’t really want to kick the fuck out of you. The main reason I don’t want to is that if you did happen upon this you’d probably take it to your agent and he’d say: “Do it. But write a column and book about it and we’ll sell it for loads” and you’d write about your training and make it quite funny and use loads of exclamation marks but you’d get pretty fit and punchy as well whereas I’d just sit in my Nan’s dining room and chainsmoke and drink. About two days before the big fight I’d do some press ups and give up after about nine, thinking “Fuck this, I’ll just get drunk and smack him” and I will get drunk and try and smack you but I’ll miss and you’ll smash my stupid yet once handsome face to bits and you’ll make a million pounds from it.

Next up: Dave Gorman. And probably Johann Hari.

Danny Wallace, earlier

* Jesus, after writing that I looked at his Wikipedia entry and read the following:

“On 16 December 2008 he presented his second episode of Horizon on BBC2, Where’s My Robot. In it, Wallace travelled the world to meet roboticists and ask them, simply: “Where’s my robot?””

You couldn’t make this shit up. He could, but you couldn’t.


26 responses to “Journalists I’d Like to Kick the Fuck Out of: Part Two

  1. oh Pitchy, you have me laughing out loud and then feeling rather dirty laughing out loud. “..but I’ll miss and you’ll smash my stupid yet once handsome face to bits and you’ll make a million pounds from it” <- this is the moment that the built up of internal laughter breaks free in the British Library (a big no-no, apparently). People don't appreciate my laughter and for me laughing at it feels slightly like laughing at an old lady when she falls on ice. (Although you're younger, certainly not a lady, and have piercing blue eyes. Don't forget the piercing blue eyes!). But laughter is just what I needed… I'm currently researching late 17th century Italian opera houses…. Dear god please keep the posts coming.

  2. p.s. are you going to do a talk-singing-ish music video for the upcoming PTW book?

    [maybe don’t…]

  3. I have just read your post and am feeling extremely irritated re this Danny chap (had never heard of him) those kind of books just annoy me, like people who pretend to be cool and walk like they are from Manchester when they are not. I nearly went over the edge though when I saw the photo of Danny in that Tshirt. I have an allergy, it is an allergy to any bloke over the age of 20 who wears anything remotely Supermanish. I went to a party recently and there was a muscled tanned bloke in a blue tshirt and jeans who looked perfectly pleasant if not actually quite hot from behind, he turned round and the superman red diamond thingy hit me SMACK in the face, I staggered sideways swaying slightly in my heels and my eyes started to water, my breathing became shallow and I could feel myself blushing. No doubt fake superman smirked to himself thinking ‘Yep, I’ve still got it, still get the ladies in a fluster’ I managed to get myself to the safety of the drinks table and hold on to a glass of vino for dear life. Pitchy does it have to just be writers that you want to kick the fuck out of? please can it be men in any kind of superhero outfit? – although my pet hates are Superman, Spiderman (why just WHY) and Banana man (that is just too, too much) Thanks.

  4. Fuck a duck???? sorry was that directed at me or Danny?

  5. (gosh i’ve just opened myself up to lots of horrible replies, probably by Alan. but I was genuinely confused by your reply Pitch)

  6. Sorry Camera Bird, the Fuck A Duck was about the link you sent featuring Danny Wallace prancing around. Thanks for laughing out loud, especially in the British Library. If Alan says something nasty about you, he’s going on the list.
    Marge: Wonderful stuff. Yes, men in superhero outfits also get the full force of my atrophying arms and tiny hands.

  7. I thought the pic looked like Damon Albarn out of pop combo Blur. Could he be included in your kicking spree? Hope so. Maybe you could start charging for kicking the fuck out of people in an unintentionally comic and largely ineffectual way? Anyway, I think you could so do a programme for Horizon on BBC2 – why don’t you pitch them something?

  8. My girlfriend haz eczema on her hand – she says it’s from washing up but I think maybe living with me has made her broker, madder and more likely to turn to alcohol so think there could be something in this.

  9. Mya, what a wonderful suggestion. Open letter to Horizon: How about a three part mini-series where I go around the world kicking the fuck out of people in an unintentionally and largely ineffectual way? Fee: £45,000. Do please try and let me know your thoughts.
    L, There IS something in that. Say hi to your girlfriend from me. X

  10. I’m not becoming obsessed with Danny Wallace (I am really) but just happened to stumble across a column of his in Shortlist and was amazed at how many exclamation marks he uses. I counted 18 in just a few paragraphs and had to give up as it really made me want to kick the etc. etc. Here’s an example of how he writes:

    He is a civilian! This man is a mere civilian! This man is no doctor, not any more! He is just a man! And he is a man who has seen my wife sweaty and naked!

  11. your last posting requested our favourite over the journey. I’m not sure if I’m being lazy or have a bad memory, but this is my favourite.

    I have also realised that I often use exclamation marks when I write! I will try to curb this in the future!

  12. VD, how splendid to hear from you. It’s been a while. I believe the last time I saw you was in Melbourne when I had a massive bit of polystyrene on my head. That makes me sound both more cosmopolitan and more fucked up than I actually am. Hope you’re well dude. And please try!

  13. This is great, keep it up. All writers are tossers.

  14. ALL of them Joel? Surely not us; had a look at your site – keep on rocking in the free world. And thanks.

  15. Fuck a duck indeed. He even has fake bloopers. Sheesh.

  16. Fuck a duck indeed indeed, Sarah. He has fake bloopers? Jesus. I don’t even know what fake bloopers are. But I do know this: if you google “I hate Danny Wallace” you get 8 hits, whereas if you google “I hate pitching the world” you get 0 hits. You do the math. Maths.

  17. Haha, those ‘humourous’ stuff-ups/deleted scenes shown at the credits of bad American movies. He has fake ones. Though ‘fake bloopers’ do rather sound like fake tits, I see that now.

  18. Oh, can everyone (and I do mean everyone in the world) please start referring to fake tits as fake bloopers from now on? I like it. Ta.

  19. Your mum’s got fake bloopers. Camera Bird’s definitely trying to pork you mate, ‘misreading’ your lovely English idiom in a sexy manner. In Finsbury Park there’s a shit duck that all the other ducks shun, so it has to kick about on the other side of the pond. A bit like the ugly duckling, except it’s not a duckling (fuckling, if anything). Whenever we go to Sainsburys, my wonderful Mrs. and I sing ‘shit bird, no mates, shit bird no mates’ to the tune of the Westminster Quarters at the shit duck. If I were going to fuck a duck (and I am, real soon), that would (will) be the one I’d fuck. In this entirely non-fictional scenario, if Camera Bird were the shit bird and you were me (both of which ar not far from the truth), this is what it would look like: List me.

  20. chicken and the egg….. did Alan post his filth to live up to my prediction that he would or did I just accurately predict the inevitable?

    either way… sigh.

  21. You’re the egg, CB. A good egg.

  22. I must say that I bloody hate that Danny Wallace fellow. I have met his wife and she is indeed lovely. Which makes me hate a little bit more.

  23. I bet she is lovely. I had a wife once sixhands. Can you imagine.

  24. do like I do Pitchy and pretend that all previous life partners are now dead!

  25. a true jizz trough of human being
    not in the slightest bit funny does his column the night before his deadline filled with obvious uninsightful horseshit
    wears clothes about 15 years too young for him
    and looks like an utter twat pike
    (and annoyingly does seem to care)
    for christ sake man your older than me
    dont ponce about like your a 21 year old art student
    (at least there accidently funny sometimes)
    at least dave gorman is sometime smart and funny in his stand up
    your just a epic waste of flesh and vital organs
    please dont breed
    let your self aggrandising DNA die with you
    in your school jumper and your bargain basement mediocre books

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