Hey hey hey.

Right, let's treat this like a date. You want to know about me. So, three random facts to get the ice broken:

1) I once tried to pull Robbie Williams on behalf of my sister.

2) I once made up a band out of thin air and convinced Q Magazine to put them on radar.

3) I've been on Mexican television. Probably.

See, I don't like that last one. It's not sure enough of itself. And let's face it, if I can't come up with three things about myself that are both interesting and factually correct, there's not much to recommend me as a regular read. 

The first post of a blog, I think, is like a television pilot. It's got most of the elements of the real series, but you're just introducing the characters. They don't mean anything to you yet. And though, if you're a completist you'll go back to the very first one when you re-watch the entire run, you'll know in your heart it's a bit rubbish. 

That's okay. They've only just proven Einstein right about the gravitational waves. I'll still like you if you prefer my later works.

So, Mexican telly. It's quite simple. In 2006, I went to Germany to research fan culture, using the World Cup as my excuse. In fact, the whole thing was one big excuse for me to watch all of the matches without the inconvenience of a job. The Germans had thoughtfully provided giant screens for itinerant fans, and my ultimate goal was to meet people, talk football and fan culture with the intention I would turn it into a book.

And I did so. I created a website, posted content, and when I came back, I wrote the damn book. I found the following conclusions from my trip:
  • Trying to sell a book about the 2006 World Cup a month after it happened was like trying to plait sand.
  • Fans are fans the world over. They're not so very different from you and me.
  • Don't go to Wiesbaden. It's shit.
I met some Mexican blokes in an underground station in Munich. They were my first 'fans' and I suppose I had to overcome natural shyness sometime, so I started to ask my questions. It was only after being mocked repeatedly for being Peter Crouch (hopefully because of my height rather than my looks, although he came back from Germany to Abbey Clancy, so who's the winner there?) that I noticed there was a camera crew filming me and my new compadres. So, once This Is Your Life have finished presenting me with my Record of Achievement, they might well wheel out a clip of me dancing like a marionette with an Aztec headdress on. Fingers crossed.

I suppose I like the element of doubt because it provides you with a bit of shade every now and again. If I'd have left that "probably" out of the sentence, you'd probably expect this blog to be about the adventures of a madcap idiot who knows no fear. In actual fact, they're just three things that happened when I decided to stick my head above the parapet. Two of them were due to random blurts of speech, while the third was made of pure speculation.    

Go on, I'll wait while you decide which one it was.

But you have to step out of the shade every now and again, and so this blog is my attempt to get a bit of a suntan. Anybody who has seen my attempts at a suntan knows that I go from milk bottle white to strawberry Chewit pink in about five minutes, so maybe I should think before I get too confessional. 

So this blog is a writer's life, with some work in progress, some old material which I can't sell to anybody, and now and again, the occasional splenetic opinion. By post ten or so, you and me will be like old friends. And if you're an actual old friend, hello. Sorry I didn't come to the wedding, it's just that it clashed with me having some creosote delivered. Not a euphemism, either.

Just to round things off nicely, I'll address the other two random facts. Robbie Williams didn't say anything. It was at a record signing in 1992 and I told him my sister thought he was bostin'. His response went unrecorded, but I'm glad it never went anywhere. I couldn't stand there being another fat bloke in the family photos.

The band were called Black Maria. That was the name of my band, had I had one. The intention was to sell my writing wares, and it worked. Paul Rees, Q's editor, was from West Bromwich and was very interested in the so-called 'Walsall Scene'. I came clean, and he offered me work experience at the magazine. Naturally, like a sunburned idiot, I retreated back into the shade. 

But I was younger then. I could have got the time off and everything.

So I'm Chris Stanley. Hello. I'm available for parties, bar mitzvahs and syndicated book deals with film options.

p.s. I only called it Chris Stanley's Bazaar because if you said it fast, it sounds like "Chris Stanley's bizarre." I ask you, is that the word of a serious man?


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