I Love Matt Fishwick! Fiction and fun with Matt Fishwick

18Feb/120

200!

Well, it's an extra post to celebrate the 200th post on ilovemattfishwick.com.

And what better way to celebrate 200 posts on this very website that you are reading now, than to look back at my glory days. I say "days" but in reality I mean "day."

For it was one year ago today that I earned my only comedy paycheque to date in the now defunct Highlight #win100 Twitter competition. I won the £100, and today being that anniversary of the win, I hope it stands me in good stead for the upcoming series of Newsjack.

So let's take a look at the winner in all its glory:

You can read more about my #win100 history here.

So here's to the next 200 post and the next £100. Hope you'll be there for the ride right along side me.

Matt.

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7Dec/112

Deconstructing December

Here we are just a mere 7 days into December, but I'm already in a place where we can break this mother down in exactly 532 words and not a single word more.

I'll be honest, I don't really know what that means. I just know that I'm almost near the deadline for publishing this post and I have yet to come up with anything that I can write about, so I'm just going to wing it. If you imagine my NaNoWriMo novel, just less focused and shorter, it is a bit like that. If you can't imagine it, I'm not going to let you read the actual novel, even if you are the basis for one of the charactes that just happens to be, coincidentally, Italian.

But back to December itself. It has been a busy 6 days as I write this. There have been highs and lows, but even those lows turned into a positive.

I had to work many hours over the weekend, but as a result of that, I've got time off in lieu, so as of Tuesday night, if I count my time off in lieu and my remaining annual leave days I only have 6 days left to work until Christmas. Great stuff!

That same weekend, I got to perform in an improv showcase. I wasn't fantastic and there were people there that were far better than me, many of whom where stand ups or just performers in general. But I think that I'm finally getting the hang of it. It was the first time that I didn't hate myself after getting off stage. Looking back on the videos I do see areas for
improvement. Mostly walk forward games. And seeing me on video made me realise that I really need to lose weight, I'm so fucking fat, it's no wonder that nobody wants me. Also, I need to try with accents, because the ladies love a man that pretends he is from Burnage. (Or so I'm told.)

After the hectic madness of NaNoWriMo, where I let my sketch writing class assignments slip a bit, I have been able to make progress, since on Monday night I did quite a bit of work. I've also done a bit more on Tuesday night and hopefully after Wednesday night, I will be able to start on this current week's assignments. Earlier on today I also got feedback from my tutor on the sketch that I submitted to him on Sunday. It wasn't half bad. I thought that he'd hate it (as I did while I was trying to write it), but it was better than I thought. I still haven't re-read it yet, but I will do that eventually. Who knows, this might even mean that I shall post a sketch for a blog post one of these upcoming weeks. Maybe even as a Christmas treat!

On top of everything else, I think my cough is finally disappearing. And that is always a bonus. I've had it since 31st of October, but there will be part of me that will be sad to see it homeless for Christmas. Ah well, you can't have everything...

Until next time,

Matt.

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6Jul/114

Honesty Is The Best Policy?

I arrived at work on Monday to find an email waiting for me.

This isn't so unusual, I quite often arrive first thing in a moening and have people wanting me to do things or that we haven't won the works Lotto syndicate and therefore have to stay until the next EuroMillions draw.

What was different about this email was that it was a piece of junk mail. And more than just that, it appeared to be honest junk mail, too:

It's refreshing really, isn't it?

But every time that I receive a bit of junk mail, I do get a little disappointed that they aren't targeting me. You would think that these people would want to take the time and hand craft each email, like a Lindor Chocolate, to get the most responses. To me it feels like it's just a mass automated process and that takes the intimacy out of the whole thing.

So let's analyse where they went wrong.

Please your girlfriend like never before!

Here.

Here is exactly where they went wrong. The first line. Why? It may shock the ladies reading this, but I'm single.

That's right ladies, get ready to send me your virtual panty emoticon things, because I'm available.

Please all rush at once.

Wait, what's that? You say you aren't interested?

Oh.

So in order to please my girlfriend, I'd actually have to have one. But I don't have a girlfriend. So I like to think that I am a bit like Spock in this regard (not with the pointy ears and great logical mind, but because I released a version of the song Ballad of Bilbo Baggins back in the 1970s, too), because the needs of the many women who don't want to be with me outweight that imaginary one that actually does.

I'm also thrilled and amused by the body text of the email with the hilarious lying.html page. It's like they were completely conflicted over the subject line and then caved instantly in the body text.

And honestly, who doesn't love blue pills? Or maybe even blue pilz as the young kids with Erectile Dysfunction are calling them these days. I'm down wid da kidz, unless my parole officer is reading this, and then I never touched them.

Sure, the Blue Pills were not the first choice of Neo, and they don't really seem to be the first choice of the writer of the email, either. But what can you do, other than wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe?

PS. That's real email I received. It isn't a fake one I have made up, I'm not that good with PhotoShop. I've no idea what's actually waiting for you if you navigate to that page, and I'm not responsible if you do go to it.

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14Jun/110

5000 Hits

You've done it with me 5,000 times.

Thank you.

Normally it takes a lot of begging just for one hit, and well this took a lot of begging too, but my persistence, and the lack of anything more interesting in your lives, has finally paid off.

It doesn't seem that long since I last posted about reaching 4000 hits back on March 20th. I guess people want to read what I have to post.

Spooky.

That doesn't happen in the real world.

I like to think that a lot of the interest was down to my (brief) foray into stand up comedy. I think you'll find that blog post's just as irrelevant today as it was when it was first posted.

Perhaps it's my new photography feature, Mundane Monday, that has your mouse finger a twitchin'?

Maybe it is my monthly weight loss series (check back this Wednesday for the latest installment) that keeps you glued to your computer screen like a fat man at the window of a donut shop.

Or even my Daily Diary feature that I did a while ago that go you a taste for Fish.

Whatever the reason, dear reader, there's plenty more where that came from.

As always your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Keep refreshing that page, and I'll see you at 10,000 hits.

Matt.

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4May/111

A Year Of Confidence With ComedySportz

For a while now, I've been aware that my 100th blog post on this website was coming up. I wanted to write something meaningful (at least to me), so I decided to write about Comedy Sportz.

So please enjoy my 100th blog post. And remember, if you don't enjoy it, send it as a link to someone you hate. They'll read it, I'll get page views and you'll get revenge. Because remember, Revenge is a dish best served a la mode, especially if the recipient is lactose intolerant.

A few days ago, on May 1st of this year, it marked one year to the day since I started improv classes to improve my confidence.

I've been to see one ComedySportz UK show every calendar month at the Manchester Comedy Store, and another two for the Manchester Comedy Festival in October. I've also been to shows at Sale (1) and Withington (2). I've met some really cool people, both teaching and taking the classes with me.

I've performed improv on stage once in front of an audience and even had the balls to do stand up in front of an invited audience, too.

I've submitted solo written sketches to BBC Radio's Newsjack, and co-wrote a sitcom pilot (with people that I met via a ComedySportz sketch writing class) for a competition.

I've written a couple of short stories ("On Ice" and "The Call") for magazine competitions.

I've placed 3rd and then a few weeks later, placed 1st in the now defunct #win100 competition on Twitter.

I've written a few sketches that I'll hopefully be involved in filming in the upcoming months, too.

All things that I never would have dreamed were possible a year ago.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey. You're too numerous to tag in this post individually, but know you've made a difference.

So here's to another year of being more confident. Who knows what I'll achieve before April 30th, 2012?

All I know is, improv classes start again on May 7th, and I can't wait.

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20Mar/110

4000 Hits

I've been hit 4000 times since August 2009! And my lip is barely swollen. Ike Turner will never get the better of me.

I am of course joking, he will. He just keeps chipping away at my psychy.

Until he does, I will continue to post on this website.

Who'd have thought that my Mum would want to read this 4,003 times? And while you're reading it again, can I have a raise in pocket money? My pockets are much larger now, and require more to fill them.

And with that out of the way, here's to the next 4,000 hits and beyond.

Keep reading!

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12Jan/110

A Post A Week

That's right, kids. You read correctly the blog post title correctly, or at least got someone to read to you correctly as I know your time with your XBox is precioud and all. So precioud is your time that you haven't even got the time to go back to confirm whether we spelled precious correctly or not. I'll tell you now that we did and that this post is based on the novel "Push."

So what does this mean, it means that from January 5th, 2011, I Love Matt Fishwick dot com is going weekly instead of the usual whenever the hell I have something to say, and even then if I can't find anything else to do post schedule that I maintained over the past year or two.

I'm setting myself a little mini goal each week to blog about something. Hopefully this will be released every Wednesday to give myself a regular target.

Right now, this is week 2. And I don't have a topic. (If you can call last week's post a topic.)

So I'm writing this post in haste to meet my deadline and inform you, the wider readership (hello, Mum!), of said deadline.

If you'd like to help me out and make a regular appointment to read and visit my blog every week, or even everyday if you have OCD (because someone will die if you don't!), then it would really help my site stats too.

That's got to be at least a hundred words.

Have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you next week (if you send me your email address and switch on your webcam).

Matt.

(Hey, that's like 250 words. Maybe I could take next week off...)

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5Jan/110

Helpful Work Tip No. 1

As we slowly grind the gears and get back up to speed at work, I thought that now would be the time to help you out with some of the wisdom that I have learned over the years.

"It is never too early in the day to Do The Bartman."

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31Dec/102

2010: An Improvement Odyssey – The Results Show

Hello there digital channel viewers!

It is time for the Matt Fishwick 2010 results show. Not many of you voted or texted this year, which is good because I had not figured out how to set up that premium rate phone number. And with that rather pitiful banter out of the way, let's just get this charade over with.

My goal for this post is to look back at the stuff that I posted this time last year (give or take a few hours) and see, on my own personal level, whether I managed to achieve the goal or not.

So here we go:

1) I need to lose weight. I have to. I have a goal in mind and if this doesn’t make me lose weight nothing will. If the weight stays I am well and truly fucked. I have enough problems that I can’t control and if I can’t beat this one that’s of my own making then, well who knows? This includes exercising more. And when I say more, I mean exercise. I bought a damn bike. It’s just sitting there. In 2010 it will be used.

Seeing as I haven't posted any pictures of me this year I think that you can guess where this one is going. And in case you can't or if your assistant is reading this to you because you are too busy or unable to see the website for yourself, I'll answer with a simple "No".

No, I haven't managed to lose any. As for the bike, I can see it now. It is holding a jacket and a baseball cap on its handlebars. And a sterling job its doing, if I do say so myself.

VERDICT: FAIL.

2) Write more. I want to finish my online story. I have set myself a mini goal of end of March. Because of goal three. There are also a few things that I also want to try writing wise. I have how to books. It may well be time to read them.

Ouch. 0 for 2.

I did not finish my online story. Stalled at chapter 11, but I do kind of know where it should go, it is just the first 11 chapters will need a redraft and probably major rewrite.

On the other hand, I have done more writing this year. I have written 2 short stories. This may not sound a lot to the literati amongst you (but really if you are literati, what the hell are you doing slumming it here) but it was quite an achievement to me. I had never completed one short story let alone two. On top of completing them I even had the balls to submit them to a competition.

Okay, so the stories did not win, or even place in either of the competitions they were written for, but I did post them to this very website, where they could be ignored in public. Click the links to read "On Ice" and "The Call" at your own risk. Lest your eyeballs melt because of their sheer brilliance.

I've also done some sketch writing thanks to taking part in the 6 week Sketch Writing course with ComedySportz in Manchester. I have also written topical sketches and submitted them to the BBC (they didn't get picked) and towards the end of the year I have even submitted other sketches to a theatre company who are developing a showcase in February 2011 at the Lowry Theatre. (I still don't know if they will be selected or not as of yet.)

So even though I haven't finished my online story, I think that I have made real progress in other areas of writing, at least from a confidence perspective of actually submitting things.

VERDICT: PASS.

3) For Script Frenzy (April 2010) I will convert the online story into a screenplay. If the story is not done I will not participate. For the past 2 years I have participated and written crap. I know that I can write 100 pages of crap. There is no challenge in that any more. I need to be able to successfully create a screenplay that has a beginning, a middle and an end. Even if it is one that I already now the outcome and it is just a case of putting the story to screenplay format. Then in 2011, I can think about doing one from scratch with a detailed plot.

While I did not finish my online story for goal 2, I did still compete and win SF10. Even though I said that I would not participate, I decided to continue my story in script form rather than prose to help me overcome the block that I was having at chapter 11. While I did go quite a way past chapter 11 in screenplay format, I did not post them as the first 11 need rewrites to join up where the story is now. After that, I think that they can be posted. It is not completed, but I think that I will be going back to it in 2011.

VERDICT: FAIL.

4) Mystery goal. If you wish to know about this one, you’ll have to buy me dinner first.

Still on track, I think. Will have to send an email about this at the end of January to see if it has progressed any. And while I'm here, I might as well admit what it is. Though you can probably guess what it is. I have been proposing to women that I meet on the Internet. I used to tell them that I was head of BP, but in the past year the shine has been taken of that lie. I have no idea why.

VERDICT: PASS.

5) Get to Liverpool more to see my friends. Until they get sick of me that is.

They may well be sick of me. I haven't been as regularly as I should, though that may be down to them moving homes and changing phone numbers and not telling me where they are now located.

VERDICT: FAIL.

6) Plan a proper novel for NaNoWriMo 2010. Oooh. Actual Plots and knowing the beginning and ending before I start. And cliffhangers, too! How will I cope?

D'Oh, as Homer Simpson would say. I had a title, which I thought was rather spiffy, and I had kind of a plotline in my head, but I was preoccupied with other stuff in October, so never got the details worked out. I thought that I could wing it, but then halfway through the month I started to hate the dullness of my story. I still like the idea, but if I redo it, it will be done from scratch.

VERDICT: FAIL.

7) Meet more people. This will be really difficult for me. Anyone who knows me in real life knows how really shy I am around people I don’t know or don’t know that well.

Thank you, ComedySportz. I have met more people and feel that I am more confident. Not super "I think I could rob a bank and get away with it" confident, but may be just the kind of confidence that would allow me to mug an old lady in the street. And by mug, I mean bestow an exquisite piece of tableware with my face on it.

To her head. And then steal the bitch's money.

I've met many wonderful people at ComedySportz. Not just the guys that run it, but a fanastic group of people who I have taken the workshop with. The best thing? I've learned that I'm not a social leper. I just have social herpes, but I think that is the result of a misguided tryst with a pillowcase and could result in its own spin-off blog post. A Different World to this post's Cosby Show, if you will.

VERDICT: SUPER PASS.

8 ) Be a better person. I don’t exactly know what this entails, but I know I’m not good enough the way I am.

Am I a better person? I don't think that I have got there entirely there yet, but thanks to ComedySportz, my new friends and trying new things I think I'm getting there.

VERDICT: PASS.

9) Be more confident. (I’ll have to wipe the dust off of that CD)

I probably sound like a broken record but thanks go to ComedySportz. The improv course has helped me deal with people better. There is still a way to go yet though. In fact there is always room for improvement, but I'm more confident than I was at this time last year. Had I not done the improv I don't think I would have tried to submit sketches to the BBC and the whole rest of the stuff that I have tried this year.

And who knows? Next year I might even talk to some girls.

Maybe.

VERDICT: PASS.

OVERALL VERDICT

And so, when we add up the verdicts from the jurors we have a 5:4 win.

Yay.

So the year is a pass. I was afraid that I would have failed. That would only give me a few hours to invent a time machine and go back to the start of the year to change my goals or just do better. But I figured that if Doc Brown can invent a time machine and get it running in 1885, I sure as hell can do it in 2010 with a half eaten pack of Maynards Wine Gums and an expired train ticket to Manchester Deansgate.

While I am disappointed that I have not met some of my writing goals, I believe that I have made up for it in other areas such as confidence and bow tie wearing. That last one might be a lie, but I've excelled in those, too.

I think that doing all this and finally getting a new job to boot, has made 2010 quite a year. One that I am proud of, which to be honest with you I don't think that I've ever said that before.

So here's to the challenges that we set ourselves in 2011.

Happy New Year,

Matt

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25Apr/100

Vote Pedro: The Pizza and Politics Edition

Every year the company I work for, has its own general election and gives out an Employee Of The Year Award.

Basically it is a plastic trophy with a little bit of kudos attached (if you are thinking money, imagine the change that you have in your pocket right now, being removed from your pocket, lest your pants also be part of the award, and superglued on to the trophy, and you would be no where near close). It's meaningless to the outside world, but to those within the company, it gives an indication as to how well liked that person is where they work.

In the run up to the actual presenting of the award, everyone in the company has the chance to nominate one individual who they think has done a great job that year to the Office Manager. After all the nominations have been received, the long list is then distributed and everyone in the company can then vote for one from the finalists. At the end of voting, a winner is crowned.

So why am I writing about this now? Well, it may be a shock to you, given how popular and likeable I am, but I wasn't nominated for this award last year. So this year, I decided to be more proactive in getting a nomination.

For Plan A, I decided to do the decent thing, and nominate myself with the following:

I will stand for Employee of the Month myself this year, as due to what can only described as a gigantic oversight, I lacked a nomination last year.

I should be nominated Employee of the Year as I’m a triple threat: I know the front door code, the alarm code and I know how to work the dishwasher. There is no one who is more beloved by me in this company than the person that I have nominated.

Apparently, this isn't the done thing and my nomination was not accepted by the Office Manager. I had an inkling that this plan would run into problems, so I decided to move to plan B. Plan B was a little more crafty, and didn't necessarily involve me being nominated. Its better if you just read the reasons that I sent:

Despite my canvassing I am unsure if I will be nominated for employee of the year, since it is apparently “not the done thing” to nominate oneself.

In that case it is time for plan B. To nominate someone else who will promise me a 1% cut if they win. And 1% is better than nothing at this point.

To that end, I would like to nominate Parisa, as her formidable marketing skills have me believing that she will honour this agreement.

Now surprisingly, this wasn't an acceptable reason, even though the Parisa reneged on the verbal contract shortly after the email was submitted.

So after my two quite brilliant schemes to get the prize money or at least a percentage of the prize money, I was all out of ideas until my campaign manager helped me draft a heatfelt plea:

I believe I should be employee of the year because of my unique problem solving skills, as demonstrated by my previous nomination (for myself).

Many people would like to be nominated for employee of the year but no one, until now, has had the initiative or been brave enough to nominate themselves. I believe that by offering myself for nomination I am providing evidence of the creative thinking that makes me such an asset to the team. It also shows I am proactive at finding solutions to problems and driven towards success.

While everybody else is taking the long and hard traditional route to this esteemed prize by working diligently I have shown that I do not simply follow the herd by composing this email instead. This approach is far more time economical than the traditional approach, showing that my fresh take on problem solving saves the company both time and money.

A vote for Matt Fishwick is a vote for the future!

Now all I had to do was wait. But that night I got hungry (and not just for results) so I decided to order a pizza. The pizza was good and once I had slaked my thirst for doughy goodness I was in possession of several uneaten slices.

In an act of pure altruism, well as altruistic as I am capable, I decided to leave the remaining slices for the denizens of the office. Now in order dissuade them from the existence of pizza faeries, I decided to let them know how had supplied this cold feast.

Thus my first campaign poster was born.

Click here to see the Poster in PDF format.

So if that quality bit of electioneering doesn't work, I don't know what will.

But we shall have to wait until May 4th before the shortlist is revealed, and then I can put that pizza on expenses.

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