Electric Ballroom, May 2009
When I was born the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around my tiny little baby throat as the other end was being ripped away from my traumatised belly button. This meant that as I was violently ejected from my mother’s vagina I was being strangled and my eyeballs were popping out of my bewildered face.
To ensure I could survive to tell the tale (on the internet) all these 29 years later, the doctor had to push me back inside my (poor, poor) mother - followed by his big doctor hand - which he used to unravel the cord from my neck before ripping me back out into the blinding light of planet earth. It was a pretty shitty start to things, but ho-hum.
Of course, I can’t remember any of this happening because I was only 32 seconds old and unconscious. But I was told all about it after it became deeply apparent that I had an overwhelming phobia of having my throat or belly button touched, looked at, debated or in anyway referenced or referred to.
It’s been a real shitter all my life. The first thing that happened to me in this world has had such an effect on my mental health that I can’t even read a book without turning the centre crease to one side because I can’t have it lined up to my Adam's Apple. It's a bona fide disability.
Once, this girl stuck her tongue in my belly button during sex and my knee involuntarily cracked her so hard in the stomach she actually vomited over me (true).
Anyways, I also find it quite hard to enjoy a live music show when there’s very little space to watch the band and people are shifting around, spilling pints of beer from cups so flimsy they might as well be condoms. All those gross bodies shuffling around trying to find their dopey friends. Urgh.
But not one to make a fuss, as Tiersen faffed about on stage last week I kindly moved to one side to let this woman get past so she could join her friends just in front of me. But she never went and stood with them. No. The dope went and stood in the space I had temporally opened up to let her through, blocking my chance of moving back by wearing this ridiculously oversized leather backpack. This meant I was standing at a 30 degree angle on one foot, wincing, trying not to spill my own saggy johnny full of beer.
After I eventually managed to squeeze back in behind her, something truly terrible happened: I felt this horrendous sensation in my belly button. A toggle on the women’s backpack jabbed right in there – but because the venue was so packed I couldn't free myself and it stayed in there and twisted about as she jiggled around like a horny toad.
With the toggle jabbing ONLY in my bellybutton, and unable to escape, despite calling for help, I started to feel really dizzy. It just wouldn't stop, like the backpack was actually attached to me via a bastard umbilical cord of its own. Jab jab jab. It was the puggle not even my school bullies had managed to give me.
Would it now seem dramatic to say this was the worst moment of my entire life?
I don't care. It was.
After I had feinted the bouncers ploughed through the crowd like a bunch of champs and gave me a fireman’s lift out of there. They even helped me clean my underpants, which was pretty friendly of them.
But just like I've been doing everyday since my ridiculous birth, I'm going to keep on truckin' and try and make it to next week.
(And fuck knows what Tiersen's set was like, but I heard all the Amelie fans were disappointed that he only plays shitty post-rock these days. Bad luck.)