Oct 26, 2006

Fatbelt: notch 6



As you join me on the last of my blogs about the Greenbelt Festival (yes, it really has taken me two months to write this blog series), you find an ill man, a DJ at death's door, a broken soul tearful at the terrible prospect of being too poorly to finish a final day working with the BBC on Greenbelt FM.

Fellow DJ and twin brother Lee (aka NineTenthsFullOfPenguins) had told me a story about eating spicy food then working up a sweat on a football pitch. He said this was a great way to kill off any nasty viruses in your body.

>Manna

I decided to take his advice. I staggered to Manna Mexico, one of many fast food vans at Greenbelt that excel in both scrumptiousness of food and, like all the food vans, heftiness of prices. Grabbing the counter with both hands - partly for drama and partly for support as my legs were beginning to give way - I made my demand.

Me: I want a burrito with loads and loads of jalapeno peppers.
Manna man: How many? Five? Six?
Me [makes cowboy-tough-guy face]: How many have you got?
Manna man [making the burrito]: You'll kill the taste, you know.
Me: I don't care. I'm ill and I want you to make me well with just one meal. Just ONE MEAL! [Flourishes camply]
Manna man: Ah, a challenge! [Makes a pile of peppers not entirely unlike the mashed potato mountain in Close Encounters]

I ate the hottest burrito this side of The Titty Twister, if 'tasted' is the right word. Belching fire, I retired to my tent. That night, clothed in everything I could find, I sweated through pores I never knew existed, and by morning I stank like a rotting buffalo that had drowned in a vat of sewage after a night out with a skunk and John McCririck.

And I felt great. Like I was never ill!

>Trivia

My final lunchtime show - and my last job for Greenbelt FM - was almost a serene affair. There was one hiccup - a bunch of Daniel Bedingfield fans, who had won in a pop trivia quiz, turned up to collect a prize I had never promised them. Lee actually bought them a CD, but their mum looked at the one CD, then looked at her three girls, and said: "Oh. We'll just have to copy it". Ungrateful cow.

I am immensely grateful to the Greenbelt FM crew for the chance to mess around on radio for a long weekend. And I will be forever indebted to the BBC crew that supported us on the pretense of it being something to do with the Beeb's regional religious commitment, but really it was everything to do with giving a committed bunch of radio hacks the boost of a lifetime.

>Beer

I had time off in the afternoon. Bill Drummond talked about The 17, and I caught some decent music. I got my trainers muddy, and poked a sleeping pig with a stick ("zzzzz grrrrrrnt zzzzzz..."). I enjoyed the beer tent for the first time. And as I left the site at Cheltenham, a thought edged its way into the corner of my mind...

"Hmm, what if I was to do a series of blog posts about my experience at Greenbelt? I wonder if it would be interesting enough?"

...and now we know, don't we?

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