The goldfish bowl has gone black. He's blacked it out with marker pens because the fish kept staring at him. The television's gone wrong. Unless it's supposed to be broadcasting those things that look like reversed-out sunspots, and making those strange noises. He's obviously bored. Otherwise he wouldn't have made that device that allows him to smoke four cigarettes at once. He's housesitting for his girlfriend. And looking after the dog. The dog is not to be trusted.
The phone message tells him to walk the dog. This is a man in a terminal state of confusion. He double-locks the door. The keys have a note on them saying DO NOT LOSE. He stares, baffled, obviously trying to work out what's best. And then he posts them back through the letterbox. The phone message says to be careful the dog doesn't run off. So he puts the other end of the lead over his head. The dog does nought to seventy in four seconds. This, he can just about cope with. Until they get to the park, and the dog sees the ducks in the pretty pond, families gathered around it to feed the birds.
Two minutes later, neck deep in the pond, the dog spitting duck heads out at the feet of screaming children, he yells: "It's not my dog! It belongs to Imogen Edwards!" And it's at that point that the dog starts talking to him. It's not the first time this sort of thing has happened. When he was a child, his pet gerbil told him that Dad made Auntie Susie say prayers into his trousers.
This is MY WRONGS, a short film created and directed by British writer and satirist Chris Morris. Morris is infamous in Britain for BRASS EYE, a satirical "news programme" that stabbed at the heart of media hypocrisy. Faking up "outrages" based on the media-sold bogeymen of the day, he had oblivious, unctuous celebrities filmed denouncing such things as a drug called "cake" and an anti-paedophile organisation called Nonce Sense (nonce = British slang for kiddie-fiddler) that famously had celebrities proclaim that paedophiles smell like hammers and share a substantial amount of DNA with crabs.
From there, Morris did a late-night radio programme called BLUE JAM, that mixed unsettling ambient and trip-hop with some seriously disturbing monologues. You'd recognise this weird strain of bad-tempered British surrealism from graphic novels like THE INVISIBLES, PREACHER, the works of Peter Milligan, and my own TRANSMETROPOLITAN. I first heard it in '99, when Grant Morrison played me a tape of it while we were hanging around in New Zealand. The depressing confines of Auckland made its whispered tales of horror oddly apt; the one that sticks in my mind is the barely-controlled housewife who calls the plumber to fix her baby. The plumber is trying not to freak out, the woman has a hysterical edge in her voice that constantly threatens to explode into uncontrollable screaming. He wants to go. She offers him a thousand pounds. It's horrible. You can't turn it off.
When it was first broadcast, a newspaper commentator publicly implored Chris Morris' friends to go to his house and make sure he was okay.
This was after he teamed with a Sunday newspaper for an extended stunt. He assumed the persona of one of their many diarists. The first several weeks were standard personal journalism in the mode of then-popular"self-revelatory" columnist William Leith (an astonishingly crap man who appeared to get paid for transcribing arguments with his girlfriend and speaking of the raw adventure of cutting his toenails). And then the journalist proclaimed his intent to diarise his forthcoming suicide. With the paper's blessing. In a time when cancer victims were recounting their impending deaths in weekly columns, and with "Richard Geefe" clearly losing his mind in installments, you can imagine the mail they were getting. They only gave away the stunt's nature with the final, blisteringly strange column.
MY WRONGS, an adaptation and expansion of a BLUE JAM monologue, is a riveting and horribly funny account of a confused man's fast descent into Hell. It's available on Region 2 DVD right now, and it's a unique piece of film. If BEING JOHN MALKOVICH gave you any kind of hit, you need this like it was crack.