The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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May 1997


Thursday 1st May

Miss Douglas saw me chatting to Barry today and made me help her carry some balls. If it wasn’t for Barry I would be nowhere near the sports centre and would be safe from ball based errands. Miss Douglas said I should find a sport I like, so that when I leave school I can stay healthy. I thought of asking her if shagging was a sport but obviously I didn’t. I escaped as soon as I could.

How annoying are Blur? I’ll tell you Dear Diary, they are very annoying and “Song 2” is especially objectionable. I only mention them at all because they assaulted my ears while I was in HMV buying WASP’s new album. It’s called Kill Fuck Die. The first track really, really reminds me of Nine Inch Nails “Head Like A Hole” which I guess is what they were going for now they’ve gone industrial. There was a cute guy working in HMV wearing eyeliner and nail varnish but my heart belongs to another, Dear Diary. I’m going to tell Jenni about him though.

I read some of the Brownie Guide Handbook. Some of it is quite good and we could do with people having a more responsible attitude, lending a hand where needed, tidying up after ourselves and being capable. Some of it goes a bit too far. “A brownie always thinks of others before herself”. Always? This could lead to some very angry women who never get what they want.

Friday 2nd May

There is a new prime minister. Tony Blair has replaced boring old John Major. I’d rather Lemmy from Motörhead was in charge. When I’m old enough to vote hopefully there will be some more appealing prime minister choices. Today was Barry’s last day. He said “See you around Red”. School is now plunged back into mainly monotony with the occasional bright glimpse of T-Reg.

Jenni gave me this dilemma: Grow C cup boobs and a moustache or remain a non-moustachioed A cup?

My clarifying questions: Is it a big moustache or just a light one?

Jenni’s answer: It’s identical to T-Reg’s.

My question: Are moustaches for women the next big thing (because I really don’t think it’s going to be fake tan, like Mum’s magazine thinks)?

Jenni’s answer: No, they are not.

I decided I’d rather be small of breast and hairless of top lip.

Saturday 3rd May

We’ve won the Eurovision Song Contest. I say “we”, Dear Diary, but I mean England. I had nothing to do with it. If I’d been involved we’d have had a metal song. The Green Man tonight had T-Reg, STF, Bob, Lizzie and of course regular customers me, Ian and Jenni. I like having a boozer where I can be a regular, it makes me feel like one of the flat cap extras in Coronation Street, or like I’m in a perkier version of Cheers. Friends can keep their coffee shop (everyone except me, Jenni and Ian seems to love this programme).

Lizzie put three songs from Kiss’s Crazy Nights album on. She is obsessed with Gene Simmons. She was wearing her Kiss army T-shirt too. There is no need to ask who is at the top of her Gods list. She said Ella is on a date tonight with a man with tattoos. Everyone wants a tattoo when they are old enough. Jenni wants a flock of bats, Ian wants a flaming V guitar, Lizzie wants a rose like Paul Stanley’s, STF wants a big black tribal tattoo like Kerry King, T-Reg wants a pin-up girl with her tits out, Bob wants a demon and I don’t know what I want. One of my favourite things is Viennetta but I don’t think this would make a good tattoo, but then again it might. I think a Viennetta, viewed sideways, is rather beautiful.

Sunday 4th May

I cleaned Mustaine out this morning. I put him in the bath while I washed out his bowl. He just used a tiny bit of the available space to swim in. If Mum wanted to she could work somewhere else instead of moaning about her job all the time. She could wear clothes that aren’t beige. She could do fun stuff at weekends instead of housework and watching telly.

Monday 5th May

Today is a bank holiday. Jenni and her Mum have gone shopping in Henley. Ian came round. Mum was at work doing overtime. I made us beans on toast, with Marmite on the toast and some cheese on top. It was lush.

I’m still re-reading the Brownie Guide Handbook. I enjoyed and may put into practice the bit about being friendly but not the bit about collecting twigs. I must go to the library. There is nothing else much to read in the house except Mum’s magazines or her soppy novels.

Tuesday 6th May

Today is Mum’s birthday. I made her a card and I bought her some Ferrero Rocher. Mrs Butler brought Mum some special roses from her garden. I made Mum and Mrs Butler a cup of tea. I asked Mum if she wanted me to find a vase. Mrs Butler told me the peach coloured roses were called Warm Wishes and the pink coloured ones were called Savoy Hotel. Mrs Butler told me (for the third time) that there is a rose called Cleopatra, it’s red and sort of yellow as well. I cooked us macaroni cheese and Alphabites. I spelt “Mum” and “Cleo” with the Alphabites and then piled the other letters on the side of our plates. I washed up the plates and the saucepan. I have been a model daughter today. It’s been quite tiring.

Wednesday 7th May

Shot lent me her Tank Girl Get Knotted graphic novel today (not a comic Dear Diary, according to Mopey Dick, who is fussy about these things). After school me and Ian listened to Gav’s Anti-Nowhere League record. I think if the Sex Pistols had practised more they could have been as good as the Anti-Nowhere League.

There is a Pete Steele poster in Kerrang! It’s of him on the phone. I’m looking at it and imagining him saying “Just come on over any time, I like ginger women the best”. If he did phone me, I just know Mum would be listening in and I’d be too shy to say anything. Actually, if it was Pete Steele I’d force myself but my voice would go all squeaky. The phone is in the hallway and I’m not allowed one in my room. I’ve asked a million times and said that I would only use it very occasionally. Maybe I should ask a million and one times?

Thursday 8th May

Mopey Dick told me and Jenni that heavy metal is for Neanderthal men today. This is fine with me, I like tall men. Had tea (sorry, it’s called dinner round there) at Jenni’s house. We had mushroom chow mein that Jenni’s Mum Pam made herself. It was really good. I didn’t think you could make Chinese food yourself.

Friday 9th May

Dilemma from Ian: If you had to give up either potatoes or cheese for ever, which one would you give up?

I’m thinking about this.

I need to be more like Tank Girl. If she fancies someone she snogs them, even if they are a kangaroo. I’m more like Camp Koala. Jenni could be Jet Girl if I’m Tank Girl. How come the Spice Girls are so popular and yet Tank Girl’s brilliance goes unnoticed? I might get the same tattoo as Tank Girl as well as my side view of a Viennetta tattoo.

We did reproduction in Biology today (I mean we studied it, not actually did it. Baggers has a very laissez faire approach to discipline but that would be a bit much even for him). When Baggers asked if there were any questions no one put their hand up (Biology is last thing on a Friday) except Mark Dobbs who asked if it’s possible to wear your willy out? Baggers said “There have been no reported cases but I don’t suggest you make that your weekend homework Dobbs”.

Saturday 10th May

Boys at school think you are either frigid or a slag. There’s no in between, but I am in between. With the right man I could be as frisky as Britt Ekland in The Wicker Man.

I can’t decide if I’d give up potatoes or cheese for ever. Cheesy chips is one of the best meals in the known universe and probably the unknown universe too. If Marvin from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy had cheesy chips it’d probably cure him of his misery.

Sunday 11th May

Today is Dad day. Nanny Howard has gone on a coach trip to see where they film Emmerdale with a load of other old people. Dad and I went to TGI Fridays. I had a chicken burger and Dad had steak. We amused each other with elephant jokes. We haven’t done this for years.

Best elephant jokes:

Q. What’s big, grey and wears glass slippers?

A. Cinderelephant!

Q. What’s grey and highly dangerous?
A. An elephant with a machine gun!

Q. Why do elephants paint the soles of their feet yellow?

A. So they can hide upside down in the butter!

Q. Why do elephants paint the soles of their feet red?

A. So they can hide in cherry trees.

I didn’t tell Dad this one because it’s too rude:

Q. What’s grey and comes/cums in buckets?

A. An elephant!

Monday 12th May

Natalie West asked to listen to some of Ian’s music today in Maths. He let her listen to Megadeth’s Countdown To Extinction. She gave it back after five minutes saying she didn’t exactly like it but she didn’t hate it either, she just wanted to hear it for herself.

Natalie is one of the best looking girls in our year but somehow everyone likes her because she’s not bitchy. She dresses in quite a trendy way but she doesn’t slag off how other people dress, like Carina Norman does constantly. Carina will even be mean about what the kids who are in care and who come to school by taxi every day wear. Everyone else understands that they don’t get a lot of choice and so doesn’t judge them based on what they wear. Last year Mum kept threatening to put me into care but I had the contingency plan of living at Nanny Howards. I didn’t tell Mum this, I wasn’t sure how serious she was, some days she seemed mega serious and some days she was okay again and said she didn’t know what she’d do without me.

On the way home I pointed out to Ian that he’d taken Natalie’s metal virginity, he’d popped her thrash cherry. He was delighted. I didn’t point out that it had only lasted five minutes and she’d given it a very lukewarm reception.

Tuesday 13th May

Donna called Carina a “Trifling Ho” in French today! Carina said that she’d heard that Donna’s cousin Letitia went to the cinema with two boys and went skiing with them. Letitia is in the year above us, as is Carina’s older sister who is also a massive bitch according to Shot. I have no idea why going to the cinema and going skiing is offensive, also, how would you go skiing during term time with two boys? We aren’t the sort of school that has ski trips, if we were I’d have heard about it (and avoided it, I don’t like the cold or too much exercise).

Ian came round after school. I made us crinkle cut Micro Chips sandwich and Supermousse. He said I am the third best cook he knows (his Nan is first, then his Dad).

Wednesday 14th May

When I wrote yesterday that Donna called Carina a “Trifling Ho” in French I meant in our French lesson, not in the French language (we have not covered insults yet, I hope we do). Also, Letitia didn’t go actual skiing. Carina was suggesting that she had wanked off two boys at the same time, simultaneously, in the cinema, which has a sort of action that looks like skiing (apparently). Why can’t people just say what they mean?

We had a supply teacher today in Chemistry. It was the first lesson of the day so she didn’t really know what to do with us. She looked like she’d just got out of bed. She used the words problem-ette and solution-ette. Not knowing what to teach us was a problem-ette, so she wandered off in search of the solution-ette. This turned out to be reading a chapter of our textbooks. I partly did this and partly practised drawing the Anthrax logo. English was my best lesson today. Miss Wallace complemented me on my use of flowery language and wide vocabulary.

I had a problem-ette today. On the way to Ian’s after school there was a massive thunderstorm and we got soaked. I borrowed a T-shirt and took my wet bra off and left it on Ian’s bed to dry. I had a pair of terrible navy blue trousers in Ian’s room (left from when Mum wouldn’t let me wear jeans to school) so I put these on. Once dry we put on Gav’s Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti album and commenced our aural experiments. This Dear Diary, is where it gets problem-ettical, Ian’s Dad Terry came up to ask if we wanted a cheese toastie (we did obviously) and he looked at the bra. Ian and I were sat at opposite ends of his bed as usual but Terry gave us a look like he thought we were up to something.

We decided we’d have no more prog from this day forth, “Kashmir” was okay but the rest of the album sent me to sleep. We put Kreator’s Extreme Aggression on as an antidote. It’s an oasis of noise that can insulate you from all manner of teenage concerns. We practiced windmill head banging. I’d like to report that my chest was jiggling loads and I had to put my bra back on but it wasn’t, so I didn’t.

Thursday 15th May

I couldn’t meet Terry’s eye when I called for Ian this morning. Ian said he had been given “the talk” and it was excruciatingly embarrassing. He said Terry told him that there would come a time when he noticed women and it was only natural that he would have certain urges and that he should respect women and that means not getting them pregnant and not doing anything in a hurry. Ian interrupted him and said that we got soaked in the rain and so I was wearing his T-shirt to dry off and that we’re best mates but nothing more. Terry said “Yeah, for now, but things change”. The thing I love about being mates with Ian is actually things don’t change. Other stuff goes wrong like Mum and Dad splitting up but me and Ian are solid.

Did you know, Dear Diary that you can get ravioli that is huge squares and not in tomato sauce? We had it for dinner at Jenni’s. It was chicken and spinach ravioli in a cheesy sauce.

Friday 16th May

I’ve finally decided. I would give up potatoes rather than cheese.

Fridays at school are always brilliant, it’s like everyone can taste their imminent freedom. We walk out of the school gates into the minty freshness of the weekend, ready to enjoy two days of Dionysian pleasure before heading dishevelled back through the gates on Monday morning (this is my flowery language Dear Diary, it’s pretty good isn’t it?).

Mum bought me some new sweets, Haribo Tangfastics. They are a bit sour and make you scrunch your face up but I like them.

Saturday 17th May

Dilemma for Jenni: If you had a tattoo on your bum would you show it to Lex and Dazza in the privacy of your bedroom?

She said yes! But, only if it was at the top of her bum, and only to one of them at a time.

At the Green Man tonight was: me, Ian, Jenni, Shot, T-Reg, Dazza and Lizzie. Ella is out with her tattooed beau again (this is the third week in a row). I’ve noticed that all the boys in Shot’s year talk to her about serious stuff, like what they are going to do after school or if they have women trouble. She’s really kind. Lizzie is sweet too, but sort of woolly headed. I can’t really believe she’s sixteen, she seems younger than me. Dazza moaned that they didn’t have Dimmu Borgir or Emperor on the jukebox. I gave T-Reg a Tangfastic and he said it made him do his cum face!

Sunday 18th May

If you had a tattoo on your bum you’d have to show your bum to a tattooist. I don’t think I’ll ever have a tattoo on my bum. I mostly listened to Pantera today.

Monday 19th May

Dilemma for Ian: Would you have “Property of Natalie” tattooed on your bum if she would definitely have sex with you if you got the tattoo?

Ian’s clarifying questions:

How big would the tattoo be?

My answer: about the size of a fifty pee coin.

Was he allowed to get it removed after?


He’s thinking about it.

I watched Ricki Lake. Today’s problems weren’t actually problems. There were some large women who liked dressing slutty and their friends were moaning. They just need new friends, problem solved.

Tuesday 20th May

Ian would get a “Property of Natalie” tattoo if it meant guaranteed sex. Ian is actually allowed to get a tattoo when he is eighteen if he wants, but his Dad would prefer him to wait until he’s twenty-one. Terry has basically the same rules for Ian that he had for Gav, when Gav was his age, so it’s almost like Ian already knows what he can do and what will get him bollocked. Terry’s rules stay the same. They don’t depend on what mood he’s in, so there is no point nagging him.

Idiots at school are wearing hash leaf print T-shirts and bandanas. No one actually cares how much weed you smoke, just do it subtly and you’ll get away with it. Unless of course you don’t want to smoke weed, you just want everyone to think you’re a bad ass who smokes weed. There’s a lot of bellendrical behaviour about today.

Wednesday 21st May

Difficult Kerrang! buying decision today. It has Bon Jovi (Boo!) but also Marilyn Manson, who I’m mostly indifferent to, but Jenni loves.

We gave Gav’s Kiss albums a go today. Crazy Nights gets a big thumbs down, but their first self-titled album is an amazing start for nineteen seventy four. It has “Cold Gin” and “Strutter” and gets a big horns up. Ian caused a tickle fight by saying that Danzig would have a willy like a fun size Mars bar. I couldn’t let him get away with that. Since last year Ian has got a lot stronger than me, Dear Diary.

Thursday 22nd May

I bought Kerrang! I hope Jenni knows what a great friend I am. Mark Dobbs was wearing a T-shirt that said “No Fat Chicks” today.

Friday 23rd May

My period started after P.E. I’m sure being forced to do sport messes up my insides. The Spice Girls are making being ginger a liability. Someone shouted “Oi! Ginger! Oi! Scary!” At Jenni and I today when we were in town. Some of us don’t want to spice up our lives thank you very much, now zig-a-zig-off, and when you’ve got there zig-a-zig off some more.

List of gingers I approve of:

Cassandra Peterson (the real name of Elvira, although if I was her I’d live as Elvira all the time).

Tiffany of “I Think We’re Alone Now” fame (that is a great song Dear Diary, which is why Snuff covered it, so don’t go getting “Oooh, it’s not metal, it can’t be any good” on me).


Tori Amos

Shirley Manson

Vyvyan from the Young Ones

Karl Logan from Manowar

Dave Mustaine

Belinda Carlisle

Carol Decker

List of bad gingers:

Ginger Spice

Ronald McDonald


List of gingers I’m not sure about:

Chris Evans (sometimes TFI Friday is good, sometimes not)

Axl Rose (not nice to women?)

Johnny Rotten (mad eyes)

Cilla Black (it’s nice that she gets people dates and surprises but I don’t think she needs to do singing the same song every week)

Sarah Ferguson (nice dresses sometimes but that toe sucking thing was grim).

Saturday 24th May

The Green Man was rubbish. Ella was out, having been dumped by her tattooed boyfriend. She said he had only wanted one thing (I was sooooo tempted Dear Diary, to quote Red Dwarf:

“Arnold Rimmer: You’re disgusting! You’re only after me for one thing!
Arlene Rimmer: Why? How many have you got?”

But I knew it wasn’t tactful so I didn’t).

Mopey Dick was bitchy to Ella and essentially called her easy. He said men prize that which is rare and hard to obtain. Shot said Mopey is annoyed because he asked Ella out and she said no. She said women are every bit as entitled to sexual pleasure as men. I hate it when people argue. It reminds me of before Dad left and makes me feel miserable. Then T-Reg put his arm round Ella and told her to cheer up and give him one of her beautiful smiles. They ended the evening snogging, Dear Diary.

Sunday 25th May

I went to see Nanny Howard with Dad. She bought me an Emmerdale pencil and some fudge back from her coach trip. She said she will enjoy watching Emmerdale even more now that she’s seen where it’s filmed.

I made some rocky road yesterday so I took some for Nanny and Dad. They both said it was lovely. The bit I like best is smashing up the biscuits.

Monday 26th May

In Textiles Matty Bateman farted with a noise like a mouse being run over by a motorbike. Donna Harlow said “This is meant to be creative arts not creative farts” and even Mrs Savage laughed.

Josie from number 96 came round to see if we had a torch she could borrow. She wants to put some stuff in the loft. Mum said “I believe we have such an item, do give me a moment”. When Mum meets someone new she does her Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet, Dear Diary) voice but she can’t keep it up for very long. While Mum hunted around for a torch Josie asked me the same questions adults always ask: What’s your favourite subject at school? What do you want to do when you leave school? I said English and haven’t decided. She said English was her favourite too and she has loads of books and I can go round and borrow some if I like.

Tuesday 27th May

Ian came round. We had a Wotsits and Marmite sandwich and watched Dracula AD 1972. It’s set in swinging London. I’d love to visit swinging London, I think it’s near Chelsea, wherever that is. Christopher Lee is brilliant in it. He doesn’t say a lot, just stands about looking mean and bitey. It makes me want to put a white nightie on and leave my window open. I don’t like garlic so we’d be fairly compatible. I might give up on T-Reg. I think him and Ella are going out with each other.

Wednesday 28th May

Mark Dobbs played a tune using his armpit in Maths today. It wasn’t as good as Iron Maiden but it was better than the Spice Girls.

Me and Ian listened to Gav’s Cinderella album. Their song “Shake Me” is just AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” again, but with added lipstick and hairspray. I need to stop having tickle fights with Ian, Dear Diary. Today he said gingers are renowned for being evil so obviously I went straight for his girly ticklish armpits but he just flipped me onto my back and I felt really weird when I was underneath him and he had my arms above my head. I’m telling you this Dear Diary, but you are sworn to absolute secrecy, I almost felt like kissing him.

Thursday 29th May

All sorts of stuff happened today Dear Diary. Donna Harlow got dragged into the boy’s toilet by Mark Price. She claimed she saw Dave Chambers willy, but he said she didn’t, she could only have seen his arse. Mr Murray walked past as Donna was escaping her green tiled tinkle prison and told her off! She kept trying to interrupt him but he wouldn’t let her. Mark Price said sorry to her.

Carina Norman called Natalie West fat in English today! Natalie is not fat. She has a really good figure. Ian would say it was perfect. The fattest thing in the room was Carina’s bad attitude. Miss Wallace overheard and she sent Carina out! She said she would not accept a culture of bullying in her lessons (everyone else does, they just let Carina get on with being foul). Then she said that all of us will grow at different rates and every one of us is just fine as we are. Miss Wallace is such a lovely old hippy.

After ten minutes she went outside to see Carina. We all shut up so we could hear what she said to her. She told her that being unkind would get her nowhere in life, that often qualities we criticise others for are qualities we fear that we ourselves have and that if Carina is frustrated and unhappy then she can talk to her. This was not the bollocking we were hoping to hear. Miss Wallace is such a daft old hippy.

On my way home I saw Josie and went in to borrow a book. I chose Pam Ayres “Some More Of Me Poetry”. Jean told me that one of her favourite Germaine Greer quotes is “A library is a place where you can lose your innocence without losing your virginity”. Jean and Josie don’t read Woman’s Weekly, Woman or even Cosmopolitan. Jean said they present an image of womanhood that is too rigid and fixed. I think I know what she means. The knitwear models always look uncomfortable and are standing up straight, even if they are wearing a jumper described as ideal for casual cosy winter evenings.

Friday 30th May

I wonder what it would be like to lose your virginity in a library, Dear Diary? The floor would be uncomfortable but if you didn’t know what you were doing you could refer to a handy reference work. But, you couldn’t have a cigarette after.

Baggers told me off today in Biology. I was staring out of the window (hoping to catch a glimpse of T-Reg on his way to the sports field. My head tells me to give up on him, but my heart finds this hard) when Baggers came up behind me and slapped me on the bum with a copy of Biological Science Two. He told me to do some work. I’m glad he wasn’t using the hardback edition. I said “Soz Baggers” and he said “Sorry Mr Bagnell” then I said “Sorry Mr Bagnell”.

Saturday 31st May

The Green Man was so much fun tonight. T-Reg and Ella aren’t going out, they are just mates. She told me herself. It was just, me, Ian, Jenni, Lizzie and Ella for a while. Ian said he loved being surrounded by gorgeous women. Ella kissed his cheek and called him a little charmer. She left a bit of a lipstick mark. Then T-Reg, Dazza and Bob came in. The conversation moved on to boobs. T-Reg said “More than a handful is a waste” and he looked at me when he said it. Then he said he can hardly fit his dick in his P.E. shorts so he feels sorry for women who are well endowed. He looked at Ella when he said this.

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