The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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February 1997

February

Saturday 1st February

I went to Jacksons with Jenni this afternoon. We bought embroidery thread for making friendship bracelets. I got red and black, she got purple and black. Her Mum Pam found us a big safety pin each and we got started. Then we went to the Green Man with Ian. It was just the three of us tonight but still a good laugh.

Sunday 2nd February

Today Dad and I went to see Nanny Howard. She said she’d missed me and gave me a fiver. We watched the telly (Eastenders omnibus) and had some bakewell tart. She gave me a big cuddle when I left and told me I was welcome any time and if I ever need anything I should ask.

When I got home Mum was in a foul mood. She started moaning about all sorts of irrelevant stuff. She said the music I listen to encourages drug taking and Satanism. I showed her the lyrics to Black Sabbath’s “After Forever” from Master Of Reality (and put my hand over the lyrics to “Sweet Leaf”). This placated her a bit. I don’t think she likes it when I see Dad, the quickest way to get her in a bad mood is to mention him or that side of the family.

Monday 3rd February

Ian and I got soaked today on the way to school. In Textiles Mark Dobbs kept telling me to put my arms out, I thought he was admiring my Alice Cooper T-shirt but actually he was looking at my nipples!! I wasn’t wearing a bra today because they are all in the wash basket. Are all boys this revolting? Do all men perve at every opportunity? Even old men in their forties like people’s Dads and uncles?

Tuesday 4th February

I’m wearing a bra and a vest today. My nipples are not for public consumption. Me and Jenni both gave Ian a friendship bracelet. You have to make a wish when you tie it on and when it falls off your wish will come true. We made them for each other too, so we’ve all got two wishes.

Matty Bateman got thrown out of Home Ec. for farting today. He claimed it wasn’t him, it was a mouse (it was a squeaky one). Mrs Savage said he wouldn’t do that in his kitchen at home. After the lesson Ian said he has heard Matty fart in his kitchen at home, so Mrs Savage is a liar.

Wednesday 5th February

CDT is basically just colouring in. It stands for communication, design and technology and we are meant to get a go on the computers but we never do because the Business Studies class is always using them. Today we were given a sheet of shapes to colour in so that they look 3D. You just have to do darker edges then leave a white bit for where the light would shine.

Kerrang! has Korn and Sepultura this week so is just about worth buying. It also has Redd Kross. I love their Phaseshifter album but all their other stuff is an indie drone I can live without. Terry told us today that we should listen to Queen and Elvis, “You need to acquaint your young ears with rock royalty” he said.

Thursday 6th February

Owen Tranter has been suspended! He bit Jessica Rice on the arse! Dazza was in the Maths class it happened in. It was not long after Mr Kennedy had said that everyone needed to aim for full attendance if they want to get a good grade at GCSE. If Owen fails Maths it will turn out that his biting Jessica on the arse has bitten him in the arse!

I did my English homework and German homework at Jenni’s kitchen table. English was just reading a bit of Macbeth and thinking about it. German was a list of words which we had to write the English word next to. I did the German stuff while Jenni read Macbeth out loud so we were done in half the time. One of the German words was Schwarzwälder kirschtorte which I can always remember because it’s Black Forest gateau. I hope one day I get to go to Germany and eat an authentic Black Forest gateau. Mum wouldn’t let me go on the German exchange trip. She said it was too expensive and it wouldn’t be convenient to have a German child stay with us because she has to work three days a week. I was sort of relieved because I don’t think I have enough conversational German for it to not be weird. I also wouldn’t want to miss going to the pub.

Friday 7th February

Where I sit in Biology is also where Tyrannosaurus Reg sits in Biology. He scratched the Slayer logo into the wooden bench with a compass last year. I like to look at it and know that he’s been sat here not paying attention too. Today when I got to Biology some awful pleb had crossed this out and written “Girl Power!” with a permanent marker over the top of it.

What precisely is Girl Power? The Spice Girls are constantly going on about it. It’s probably just something they’ve been told to say by their record company.
Clarity Spices, please.

Saturday 8th February

When I wrote yesterday that where I sit in Biology is also where T-Reg sits in Biology, I should clarify that we have Biology at different times, so I’m not sitting on his lap during Biology although that would be sort of wonderful, but not, because everyone else would also be there.

The Green Man was amazing tonight. T-Reg, Bob, Simon The Raspberry and Sadie were there. Bob was saying how much he likes a weekend to be full of booze and birds. He is rumoured to have had sex with Ella. I know Simon The Raspberry hasn’t because everyone teases him about it. I don’t know about T-Reg or Sadie. STR follows Sadie around like he’s a lost lamb. She is the only punk in the entire school. She has punk mates but they don’t go to our school. She was wearing a black leather skirt, fishnet tights with holes in and an Amebix T-shirt. She has a medium sized chest. No-one else had heard of Amebix. She said she has Amebix for breakfast like most people have Weetabix. I usually listen to Slayer and have Coco Pops if there is time (rarely) or a Bounty on the way to school. She put X-Ray Spex’s “Oh Bondage Up Yours!”, L7’s “Shove” and Lunachicks’ “Down At The Pub” on the jukebox. She told us to call her “Shot” which is her nickname. Her surname is Gunn. I wish I had a cooler name than Howard. When people hear Howard they think of Howard The Gerbil from The Roland Rat Show, or Howard and Hilda from Ever Decreasing Circles or Howard from Last Of The Summer Wine.

T-Reg was being really filthy and he did the tongue between two fingers “oral sex on a lady” gesture. He claims to have two girlfriends. Sadie, sorry, Shot said “Yeah, your right hand and your left hand” and then he shut up.

Sunday 9th February

I had a big lie in. I wonder if T-Reg does have two girlfriends? He claims neither of them live nearby and this is why no-one has seen them. If he’s already got two girlfriends he won’t want a third. I’ve got the Coco Pops jingle stuck in my head and I’m trying to blast it out with Nine Inch Nails’s Pretty Hate Machine.

Monday 10th February

For a Monday today has been very acceptable. School was good. I never really mind school except for getting up early, P.E., Maths and when Carina Norman is acting up. Today Carina Norman wasn’t there (she is the class bitch, Dear Diary, a total and utter nasty piece of work, as Nanny Howard would say), we did some aerobics in P.E. with a supply teacher and Maths was about angles which I can understand. Ian made me a mix tape. I saw T-Reg in shorts. I made macaroni cheese for tea and it was the best I’ve ever made, with a really smooth cheese sauce. Mum had some when she got in from work and said it was perfect.

My mix tape from Ian:

Side One:

She-Wolf – Megadeth

Where Next To Conquer – Bolt-Thrower

This Maniac’s In Love With You – Alice Cooper

Lady Lust – Venom

Beethoven On Speed – The Great Kat

Die By The Sword – Slayer

L.O.V.E. Machine - WASP

All Men Play On 10 – Manowar

Hammerhead – Flotsam and Jetsam

Sacrifice – Motörhead

Alcohol – Gang Green

Social Sterility – Napalm Death

Side Two:

The Metallian – Iron Angel

You’re My Temptation – Alice Cooper

Shoot From The Hip – WASP

Bleed For Me - Dismember

Temptation - Slayer

My Own Worst Enemy – Napalm Death

Voices Carry – Gang Green

Live Like An Angel – Venom

Pleasure Slave – Manowar

Refuse/Resist – Sepultura

Legs – ZZ Top

Beer Drinkers And Hellraisers – Motörhead

There’s a bit in L.O.V.E Machine where it sounds like Blackie Lawless is singing “My dick runs through my fingers”! But actually it’s “magic runs through my fingers”. I like Venom and without them we wouldn’t have Slayer but a lot of their stuff sounds like it’s been recorded in a cupboard in a hurry.

Tuesday 11th February

Owen Tranter is no longer suspended. He’s going out with Jessica Rice. I hope they get married and tell their grandchildren how they met and fell in love.

Donna’s tampon fell out of her bag today. I put my foot over it and kicked it over to her discretely. She’s always alright to me and I knew if Carina Norman saw it she’d make a massive fuss and shout “You’ve dropped something Donna” so that everyone would look round.

I have a lot of the same lessons as Ian and Jenni but we usually get split up or made to sit alphabetically. Donna’s surname is Harlow so I end up next to her in German and a few other lessons. She likes rap and hip hop but that’s preferable to the Spice Girls or Oasis. She has snogged quite a few boys already.

Today is pancake day. I hope by next pancake day my chest isn’t flat.

Wednesday 12th February

I went round Ian’s and we listened to Slayer’s Show No Mercy album. I think “Die By The Sword” is my fave track but maybe that’s just because it’s familiar from my mix tape. It’s so exciting. It’s enough to distract you from your homework.

T-Reg, Bob and Simon The Raspberry were discussing the girls at our school with Ian. Ian said they said that me and Jenni are two of the fittest girls in our year, but I’m a bit too quiet and Jenni is a bit too posh. I wish Jenni and I could each swap a bit, so she was a bit less posh and I was a bit less quiet. Also, Bob has done it with Ella.
Kerrang! is brilliant this week. There is a picture of Pete Steele in a vest. I’m going to need a cold shower, then another cold shower. He’s given me a special feeling in my lady place.

Thursday 13th February

School was brilliant today. There is some building work being done at the sports centre (Dear School Governors, why don’t you spend your money on something better, which we actually want, like more computers?) and as I was walking to Maths (with the unhurried stride of someone who doesn’t mind arriving late) I saw a long haired builder wearing an Exodus T-shirt! After Maths Jenni and I walked back past again slowly and she pretended to drop her bag (she is so brave and smart, I’d never think of that, or even if I did I wouldn’t dare do it). He looked up and smiled at us! He’s got one continuous bushy dark eyebrow but I don’t care, I still would.

I went to Jenni’s after school. We had no homework so went straight upstairs. Jenni has a cooler bedroom than me. For a start it’s bigger. It’s also painted black and purple. Mine is covered in posters but the wallpaper underneath has clouds and rainbows on (I chose it ages ago when I was obsessed with Care Bears). In Jenni’s room there is a Barbie dressed in black PVC hanging from the ceiling (a practice go at a school textiles project that she got forced to change by Mrs Savage), a skull candle and she has a lava lamp (which her parents bought years and years ago).

But, the main way Jenni’s room is cooler than mine is that she is allowed to have men in her room! She walked home with Dazza yesterday and he wanted to borrow a Cradle Of Filth CD and her Mum didn’t mind him going upstairs to get it! She’s had Dazza actually sat on her actual bed! The only males to have seen the inside of my room are Dad and Ian (and Ian wasn’t actually allowed. It’s just that when Mum’s out I’m unbollockable). Jenni’s bedroom is practically a boudoir.

Friday 14th February

I got a card! An actual Valentine’s card (definitely not from anyone in my family being nice, it came in the post and I found it before Mum, who doesn’t believe in love any way). Before you get too excited though Dear Diary, my name was spelt wrong. The card was addressed to Cloe Howard. Whoever it is can’t be an intellectual fireball, but maybe they are really fit or they’ve got a motorbike, in which case it won’t matter.

Ian also got a card. He hopes it was from Natalie West but she claimed to have sent no cards. I think it was probably from Charmaine Payne. She looks at him like he’s a Malibu and Diet Coke with a cherry and an umbrella in it.

Red Dwarf was really funny tonight. Kryten made The Arnold Rimmer Experience because they were all missing Rimmer since he’s gone off to be the new Ace Rimmer.

Saturday 15th February

Mum bought me some half price heart shaped chocolates from the shop she “works” in. I say “works” because every time I’ve seen her at work she’s packing people’s shopping and chattering. This gossip while you work arrangement has got me into trouble in the past. I’ve been reported by acquaintances of Mum’s for not wearing my bobble hat in winter and for smoking.

Tyrannosaurus Reg and Simon The Raspberry were at the Green Man briefly tonight but it was a bittersweet meeting because they left to go and meet some girls. I can smell Reg for at least half an hour after he’s left. If he ever came round my house I’d need to squirt the Mr Sheen about to mask his manly musky scent before Mum got in. I’m glad I’ve already got this planned for future use. I wish the Valentine’s card was from him but I’m sure it’s not. I’m sadly a year too young for him to notice.

Sunday 16th February

I went to see Nanny Howard with Dad. She had made us trifle. She let me sprinkle the hundreds and thousands on top. Also, she found my pom-pom makers. These are circles of plastic that you put together then wrap wool around, making a sort of doughnut until the middle eventually vanishes, then you cut through all the wool round the circumference (see, I do know Maths words) and then tie a strand of wool round the middle and remove the plastic circles. I used to love these but that was five years ago. I’ve brought them home with me so as not to offend her. She gave me some wool to go with them.

Monday 17th February

I’ve had a terrible day at school. At morning break T-Reg said that all ginger girls have really strawberry pink nipples and asked me if he could he have a look at mine to check. I went bright red.

Then in Maths (horrible lesson anyway) Carina the class bitch asked me if I spray my jeans on and said she can’t see a pant line so I can’t have any knickers on. Jenni gave her a look and she shut up.

After school I went to see Nanny Brooks with Mum. It’s Nanny’s birthday. We took her a box of Milk Tray and a card with a yellow rose on it. I chose the card. Nanny used to tell me that yellow roses mean love and red roses mean lust! I was only about ten when she told me that. Even then her memory was a bit sketchy and she wasn’t always sure who she was talking to.

Today was sad. Nanny didn’t know it was her birthday, even though she’d had cards in the post and the warden of the sheltered housing had made her a cake. Sheltered housing is a bit like an Enid Blyton boarding school for old people. Every day they can do things together like bingo or watch telly in the day room. It’s quite hard to chat to Nanny. Mum usually talks to her about things from decades ago. It’s weird how she can remember a telly advert from the seventies but can’t remember her own birthday. Today she could remember the Milk Tray man.

I’ve finished making a mix tape for Ian:

Side One:

The Hunt - Sepultura

How Will I Laugh Tomorrow - Suicidal Tendencies

Love Gun – Entombed

Burning Inside - Ministry

Pull The Plug - Death

Devil’s Plaything - Danzig

She – The Misfits

Let’s Break The Law – Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction

Male Supremacy – Carnivore

Evil Woman – Black Sabbath

I’m Broken – Pantera

In My Darkest Hour - Megadeth

Side Two:

War Inside My Head – Suicidal Tendencies

I Like It Hot – Wolfsbane

The Hunter - Danzig

More Human Than Human - White Zombie

Sanctified - Nine Inch Nails

I Am The Law - Anthrax

The Offspring – Self Esteem

Angelfuck – The Misfits

Walk – Pantera

Set My Criminal Free – Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction

Predator - Carnivore

Tuesday 18th February

I still don’t know who my Valentine’s card was from. Ian said maybe the sender spelt my name wrong on purpose to throw me off the scent, but that sounds daft. We walked past the sports centre today and the long haired builder was there again. Jenni stopped to tie her shoelace (not even undone!) and he said “Morning ladies” to us! Ian got in a bit of a huff because of being included in the “Morning ladies”. This does happen if people see him from behind. His long hair is gorgeous and just a touch womanly.

I made a massive lasagne in Home Ec. All the recipes we do are for a family of four. Not many people in my class actually live in a family of four. We need broken Home Ec.

We got some post addressed to Josie Ashton at number 96. She is one of the women I thought was Welsh but is actually lesbian. I took it round and put it in her box then I giggled all the way back to our house.

Wednesday 19th February

I had a very weird day at school today. It was my turn to be on reception duty. This, Dear Diary, is a sort of slave labour scheme where you miss a whole day of lessons (brilliant) but you have to sit outside Mr Murray’s office and run errands (not so brilliant). It’s like you’re the headmaster’s servant for the day. If he wants he can call you in to fan him with a big book or to peel grapes for him or he can use you as a footstool or make you ring up his enemies and then quickly call them a wanker before slamming the phone down.

You’re meant to read while you’re not doing errands but I mostly stared out of the window. I got a couple of good errands, taking a message to the sports centre (past the long haired builder but he was absorbed in mixing some cement) and I had to take a trolley of tea and biscuits to and then from a meeting and the school secretary Mrs Nicholson, let me have a biscuit. But I also had to go and get Owen Tranter, who is the hardest kid in the school out of his class and escort him to Mr Murray’s office, where he was probably going to get a detention. Mr Murray wasn’t ready for him so he had to stay in reception with me. I remained seated (he has a reputation for biting and I didn’t want to make any sudden movements). He spent ages kicking the skirting board while glaring. He is mates with T-Reg so he doesn’t tend to bother us metal people much but he is feared throughout the school.

Thursday 20th February

Mum asked me today what I want for my birthday. I said vodka, Malibu, a Type O Negative T-shirt, a black leather skirt, my tongue pierced, a tattoo, a bass guitar and loads of CDs. She said I could have a T-shirt and CDs but the other stuff I’ll have to wait until I’ve left school for. She said a bass guitar was too expensive right now but if I still want one at Christmas I might be lucky.

What I really want: all of the above plus the issue of Playgirl with Pete Steele in (he’s nude, Dear Diary!), a snog with someone (or everyone!) on my Gods list, Dad to move back in, bigger boobs and to become good at Maths.

If Matty Bateman asks you to pull his finger Dear Diary, don’t do it. I only really talk to him because he and Ian are mates. He’s very childish and only interested in his computer.

Friday 21st February

I’ve updated my Gods list just in case the cosmic forces of the universe are aligning to provide me with yesterday’s wish for a snog:

Jeff Hanneman – I don’t usually fancy blond blokes but he’s an exception

David St Hubbins

Zodiac Mindwarp

Glenn Danzig

Santanico Pandemonium

Pete Steele

Dave Lister

Joey DeMaio

Rob Newman

Sean Yseult

If I get to snog any of the above then I’m renaming this month Fabruary.

I think my taste in men is maturing, I’m not so narrow minded that I only fancy men with dark hair any longer.

Red Dwarf was on tonight. They went to Pride and Prejudice world. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice once but it was boring. It was just about getting married which I’m not sure I want to do. Also, Mr Darcy reminds me of Mopey Dick, who is sort of grouchy when you try and be friendly to him.

Saturday 22nd February

Jenni asked what I thought about Dolly today. At first I thought she’d gone wrong in the head and was referring to Dolly Parton but it’s actually a cloned sheep called Dolly. I’m glad I’m good at English because Science leaves me a bit baffled. It seems that they’ve basically made a sheep using only one sheep, not two.

Anyway, something even better happened today. I was looking at the pub jukebox and the barman called me over. I was worried he was going to ask me for ID but he gave me three free songs! He didn’t have long hair but he was still quite cute. I chose Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” for Ian, Sisters of Mercy’s “More” for Jenni and Type O Negative’s “Love You To Death” for me. Then I worried that the barman would think that my songs were a secret coded message to him, which they weren’t. Then T-Reg, Darren, Shot and Ella came in.

T-Reg was trying out his chat up lines in the pub. These are his best ones:
Do you like camping?
Because you’ve made me erect a tent in my pants!

Did you know you’ve got eyes like spanners?

They make my nuts tighten!

Is there a mirror in your knickers?

Because I can see myself in them!

I’ve never spoken much to Ella but she seems okay, I’d like to ask her what it was like doing it with Bob. Me and Jenni told her about our Gods lists. Ella fancies Sebastian Bach (Fair enough), Steven Tyler (scarily large mouth but probably a brilliant shag because he’s quite old so he’s done it loads), Vince Neil (I’m a Tommy Lee or Nikki Sixx girl) and of course Jon Bon Jovi (urrgh!).

Sunday 23rd February

I had a massive lie in and thought about chat up lines. I don’t have any. Also, even if I had some, I suspect I’d struggle to use them.

Potential chat up lines:

Hello Pen, fancy a shag? (Okay, I’ve nicked this from Edward Hitler of Bottom fame but I have to start somewhere).

Would you like a worm do? (Okay, I’ve nicked this from Rimmer).

Nice T-shirt, it’d look even better on my bedroom floor (but I’m not allowed boys in my room so this is unusable).

I also thought about science. If I was a scientist I’d investigate how to get a chest like Dolly Parton’s and leave creating sheep from only one sheep right to the end of my to do list. Sheep seem to have got making more sheep sorted without our human intervention. Also, Mum says lamb is fatty so we don’t have it. Plus I could live without knitwear. I’d just wear a long sleeved T-shirt under my usual T-shirt in winter.

Monday 24th February

Half term. It snowed a bit today. Bloody typical. Also I got my period. Bloody typical! At least I got it when I was at home and near some sanitary towels. I hate those words. Mum can’t even say it. She says “Do you need some more STs when I go shopping?” I do need some more STs, I don’t have all their albums.

Tuesday 25th February

We ran out of cheese so I made marmite and spaghetti hoop toasted sandwiches. They were amazing, well, the second round were. Don’t over fill them or the bread won’t toast.

Dilemma for Ian: would you rather have the guitar talent of Dave Mustaine or the long tongue of Gene Simmons? He answered instantly the guitar talent of Dave.

Wednesday 26th February

I spent all day at Jenni’s. Brie is quite nice except the white bit at the edge but it turns out you aren’t meant to eat that bit anyway. We watched The Lost Boys and Edward Scissorhands.

Jenni doesn’t intend to lose it until she has been with someone for at least six months. She wants something special she says, not some hurried fumble while someone’s parents are out or worse still in the park. Bruce’s girlfriend Minty is allowed to stay over in Bruce’s room, but they are nineteen and have been together for ages.
It sounds like Jenni is expecting choirs of angels and clouds parting to reveal shafts of sunlight to be attendant on her first shag. Also, she says there’s a lot you can do without having actual sex, although she hasn’t done any of it yet.
Ian spends a lot of time playing Doom with Matty which along with music seems to fascinate him more than sex, although if Natalie West was an option he’d be up there faster than a Great Kat solo.
I find some men totally fascinating, the way they smell, the way they move, such coiled power in the trouser snake, ready to strike, but is it venom or a love potion?
Dilemma from Jenni: if I was alone with T-Reg for one night and no one would ever find out what we did and if we had condoms would I do it with him?
I just don’t know. Until I was really there I can’t say.

Thursday 27th February

Today is my fifteenth birthday. I’ve had a brilliant day. Mum bought me a massive Body Shop vanilla gift set, a small bottle of vodka, a Type O Negative T-shirt and she gave me vouchers for HMV because she said she didn’t want to buy the wrong CDs. She also got me a chocolate cake. Ian gave me a red leather studded belt and Jenni gave me a Nine Inch Nails vest top. I’m going to wear both to the pub on Saturday. I have such awesome friends.

Friday 28th February

Dad took me and Nanny Howard for tea in TGI Fridays. I think it must be hard for them to recreate an American diner near a busy roundabout on a retail park in Reading. There were lots of toddlers running about being noisy, much to Nanny Howard’s disgust. She had a burger but she ate it with a knife and fork. I don’t think she was impressed. Dad had steak.

There was a letter missing from the words in chrome around the bar so it read “Good imes” rather than “Good times”. It was a bit shabby. There was a nice picture of The Fonz and some of the music wasn’t too terrible but there was some Springsteen.

Dad bought me a chunky silver chain necklace with a star on it. Nan gave me a matching bracelet. I put both on straight away. I had a burger (which I ate like a normal person) and an ice cream sundae. It’s always nice to see Dad but then sad when he goes to his bedsit and I go home, which used to be his home too. I can’t say the things I want to say to him when we’re surrounded by people. I’ve never seen his bedsit. I think it’s probably really crappy and he’s protecting me from it. He could live with Nanny Howard if he wanted but I don’t think he does. Why does no one in my family get on properly? Mum makes us all pretend to in front of other people but it’s just a big act. Sometimes I’d like to go back to the sixties when people loved each other and there wasn’t AIDS. The only downside would be the lack of decent music.


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