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This article was written on 27 Aug 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

Steampunk

You’re fat, you’re pushing fifty and you’re a bloke. Additionally, you like real ale, which explains why you’re fat, and you like girls in stockings and corsets, because you have the sexual wit of a pimply adolescent. There are few options here beyond online pornography, which involves groping around under your beer gut for a cock you haven’t seen since the nineties, but there is one remaining option. That’s right. You get into steampunk.

The capital outlay of this odd hobby for the fat fiftysomething – let’s call him Bernard, for comedy value – is minimal. He’ll need some kind of waistcoat in the kind of colour that makes most people sick, for which eBay strikes me as the ideal potential vendor, with extra steampunk points if it’s in some kind of velvety fabric that goes a bit spiky and looks like the back seat of a cheap taxi when Bernard inevitably spills curry down it after one of his real ale binges.

Of course, he’ll wear a wing collar shirt, which is the kind of thing that screams I AM A HUGE COCK WHO THINKS HE LOOKS LIKE A DANDY to anyone in the immediate vicinity and need to top it all off with a hat. Ideally, the hat should be the kind of thing a normal person would wear to a bad taste party, but let’s imagine that Bernard is feeling flush, and buys himself a top hat which sits like a pimple on the arse of an elephant and makes Bernard look like a bad parody of a fat fairground barker from yesteryear.

He’ll also need some accessories. And there’s a huge amount to choose from, normally with bits of watch parts glued to them by someone who has worked out that if you glue watch parts to something, you can charge absolute arsewits rather more money than you were originally going to charge for what, in essence, is a piece of old tat. Bernard has opted for a flintlock pistol, which is suitably priapic, and a monocle which hangs around his neck. He thinks it makes him look like a professor, but it actually makes him look like a fat cock wearing a monocle.

So what can Bernard do with this outfit that cost under fifty quid? Well, he can parade around town thinking it makes him look fascinating and decadent, bothering the arse off the staff in the local Waterstones who call him Fat Bernard the Steampunk Weeble, or he can go to some kind of festival. Of course, he does both, but it’s the festival that holds the greatest fascination.

It’s the one time that Bernard can vaguely entertain the idea of having sex rather than just having a quick, thirty second tug over a girl in pop socks, because is there’s one thing you can guarantee at a meeting of these people, it’s that any idea of sexual standards have long since gone out of the window. Bernard will take a friend, or one of the people who doesn’t have any other friends either and for whom Bernard is the only potential one available, and have his photograph taken with women in corsets who will have to put up with Bernard’s meaty hands all over them. He may be doing something ‘funny’ with his pistol, when the pictures are taken, but whatever it is, it will be shit and achingly tedious.

Maybe, just once, Bernard who smells of pork left in a butcher’s window on a hot day, will manage to have sex with someone, a sort of female Bernard who looks like a woman who doesn’t normally wear a corset wearing a corset. Badly. The shag will, of course, be hugely disappointing for her, because after thirty seconds Bernard, who hasn’t been near a lady in years, will go off like a big, spunky roman candle and then have a nice sleep. At some point, a stray foot will have trodden on the flintlock pistol in a fleeting moment of erotic coupling, and it’ll have broken because it’s plastic, and it will lie there like a metaphor for Bernard’s shit cock.

When he goes home, Bernard, who lives with his ageing mother who has dementia and thinks he’s his dad, will have moments of terrible clarity, during which he realises exactly what it is that he has become. He will look at the pictures of himself with people half his age, who think he’s a bit of a joke, and know that they’re either laughing at him and his desperate, sexual need, or just want him to go away. In these moments, he will contemplate his failed life and his frankly shit top hat and then cry himself to sleep, moaning softly.

Steampunk is fascinating in all the wrong ways. The people really are a huge sea of Bernards and lady-bernardi, so that part at least is understandable, the one thing bringing them together being a huge sea of sexual frustration, but why the outfits? I mean, why? The terrible truth, boys, is that women don’t wear stockings and corsets in the general run of things because they’re a huge faff, so what you’re seeing is no more than fleeting teenage fantasy. The need to wear stupid clothes, and here I mean things like goggles (why?), insane trousers and anything made of crushed velvet to make yourself look interesting is basically saying ‘I’m not interesting without these clothes.’

The list of things I hate includes The Erotic Review, which is porn for people too posh to call it porn, Jeremy Corbyn but, heading it up, is steampunk. That grown adults want to get dressed up like characters in a bad comic book and behave like them as well is as baffling to me as grown adults who play Pokemon Go. ‘Ah,’ but people say, ‘they’re not doing anyone any harm.’ Well, yes. They are. Fuckwits in cheap velvet are an affront to taste and decency and, in anything like a normal, functioning society, they’d be given a choice between not doing it and a firing squad.

My recommendation to Bernard is this. Get a haircut, get some clothes that actually fit and which aren’t a bad Victorian pastiche and think about losing weight. Oh, and don’t ever be seen in the company of other people who like steampunk. You’ll look like a gang of nerds who didn’t grow out of it and get jobs, but clung to it as they got older and are reviled by all right thinking people as hopeless throwbacks who have to pretend that they didn’t want any sex when they were at school. And if you’re into steampunk, read the above and have a think. You’ll thank me.

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