Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Conversations With Ben #10: The Happy Bench

I was out walking with Sam the other day when I came across the "Happy Bench". Something about it really wound me up. Apologies, my reaction below gets a little extreme - but it was for humorous effect. I'm not really the sort of person who would ever consider micturating on public property. Still... I often present the best side of my nature on this blog. Whereas Ben gets the darker side.

(That said, when I posted a picture of the Happy Bench on my facebook feed, I was amazed by how many of my FB friends reacted in a far grumpier way that I did. It's good to know you're not the biggest misanthrope in the room. And that I chose my friends wisely.)

Rol: Well, I won't be sitting here then...

Ben: Or you could rip it off and set it alight at your feet?

Send a strong message.

I pissed on it. Will that do?

Only if you then sit in it. Commit to it.

If I did that, some happy person might come talk to me.

You could start growling? And yipping, like a small dog.

The yip is even more unexpected than a bark.

Flashback to my 20s.

Did you used to be a furry? Get up to a little bit of yipping?

The great dichotomy of my life is how much of it I've spent fighting chronic loneliness... and yet I hate people.

I'm not surprised if you go around pissing on park benches.

I Am Jack's Inflamed Sense of Rejection.

You might want to call a doctor and get that seen to.

What's the best Paul Simon song that's not on Graceland?

Or 50 Ways...

Or Duncan...


All wrong.

Rene and Georgette Magritte.

That's the correct answer.

I was saving that one for the end because there's a gag attached.

Weird name for a dog.

"After The War."

That actually made chuckle.

I've achieved SOMETHING today then.

AC12 ought to investigate Vicky McClure's taste in music...

That is the mixtape of someone who has never made a mixtape in her life.

Or bought a record.


I had a crush on Carol Decker, but still.

Even the "deep cut" by Dead Prez is still their most radio friendly one.

Are you sure the playlist isn't titled "Songs that I like when they come on the radio"?

Exactly. Never bought a record in her life.

Also. I thought it was an unwritten rule you didn't put the Beatles on mixtapes.

Or The Carpenters.

There seems little point in putting together a mixtape of songs everybody knows off by heart, to the point of being sick of them.

I mean, Respect is a classic, but I've heard it too much now.


Deep cuts only.

But there's no Beatles or Carpenters deep cuts.

Same with Nirvana.


I'd put Carpenters on as a palette cleanser after something really out there. And maybe some really early, raw Beatles. I'd never say no to anything. But that playlist is just like they asked the Family Fortunes audience to name ten pop songs from the last 60 years.

Maybe it's a cover up. Maybe she has a huge Gary Glitter and R Kelly collection and doesn't want Hastings to find out.

Acceptable Beatles: Michelle, Mr Postman, Twist and Shout, Here Comes The Sun (covered by Paul Simon).


Are you on crack?

Ma belle.

No one would expect it.

That's why it's perfect.

That or Piggies.

Stop now. I think I'd rather listen to Vicky McClure's mixtape than any more of this.

This is under the assumption that I'd include the Beatles.

I wouldn't.

Never make me a mixtape if you think Michelle has a place in the universe.

I have to know a theme or purpose for the mix.

Here, I made you a Beatles playlist.


  1. AC12 ought to investigate Vicky McClure's taste in music - brilliant!

  2. The "Happy Bench" sounds like an American import and as such should be viewed with deep suspicion.

    I see what you mean about Vicky McClure's taste in music...Jeezo!

  3. My whole blog is like a Vicky McClure mixtape. Heck, I shared Rainy Days And Mondays only yesterday. Maybe I'm a UCB (undercover blogger) where my CHIS and I try to root out corruption and CAAC (crimes against the auditory canal).

    1. Says the lady who posted Sonic Youth this week! Nice try, Alyson, but your cover is blown!

  4. There'a word missing up there: Vicky McClure's LACK of taste in music
    "Songs I like when they come on the radio" - I like that.

    I have my own Happy Bench - I sit on it in the Garden, and my wife brings me beer
    (note: it rarely works though - sometimes I've been sitting there for 3 hours)

    1. Do complete strangers stop and ask to share your beer?

  5. Aarghh, can't bear all this enforced happiness shite either!
    Re. Vicky's mixtape, where's Ted when you need him?


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