Over the last few weeks I have been the fortunate recipient of not one, but two Dr. Steg packages. Both arrived unannounced. Both were enough to raise me from my cups. The first was an assemblage. A picture if you like. An assemblage that had glued upon it golden things that Dr. Steg’s dog had chewed. More on this later. The second package contained Dr Steg’s diary, various comics and sheets of A4 that show the existence of various other forms of SPON. More on these later too. I sat and read the diary on Friday night and knew that I couldn’t put it away without further comment. I gave it to Mrs. Fisher and she read it with the same degree of amusement and delight. After consultation with Dr. Steg he was quite happy for me to reprint here.
The diary covers three months of 2001 and shows not only how Dr. Steg’s passes his days but his wit and eye for the absurd. In it the mundane sits cheek by arse with Dr. Steg’s surreal dreams. Cats stare into space and dogs lick the inside of cats mouths. Steg himself sits and stares at empty washing lines. He builds dog kennels out of Twiglets. He makes pointless lists of ‘different things’. All recorded for posterity in Steg’s instantly recognisable mix of made up words and phrases [Foot & Mouse], ampersands and jumble of capital and lower case letters within the same word. There’s the odd bit of instant art, CD price stickers [remember the days when the likes of HMV and Virgin got away with charging £16.99 for a CD?] and parking tickets too. At its end we see Steg’s more philosophical side, something that doesn’t come as a surprise at all, ‘When I said art is dead I really meant that modern society had killed art but art can only ressurect itself when modern society is dead. We will continue!’
Barring a few edits to make for easier reading I’ve left the spelling and syntax as is.
Er ...That's it? Watched a cat sitting very quietly on the driveway. World on verge of imminent collapse. Cut toe nails & fed clippings to dog. Welsh farmer committed suicide due to Foot & Mouse disaster. Blew nose.
Watched washing line blowing gently in the wind. Mass killing of healthy animals. Also available in Brian Cant flavour.
Woke up - went to toilet. Made cup of tea. Listened to the Cocteau Twins. Watched dog going to the toilet and wiping his feet on the grass. Run away from all your Kwik-Save trolleys.
Woke up early & had a hearty breakfast of Jelly Babies, Digestive biscuits and Mr. Kipling apple pies. Proceeded to spend morning painting all the dirt and dust in the garage white so that it looks clean. Dry roasted peanuts for dinner. Spent afternoon studying dirt on window panes in strangers houses. Evening spent sitting in a darkened room, not easy to read. Went to bed.
Spent entire weekend listening to 'Slave to the Wage' by Placebo and now its Monday morning & it still makes no sense. I will write to them and ask what it means? Nothing sounds very well today? Where are we going? What a confusing world we live in!
Woke up after a lovely dream about death & murder. Day 28 of Foot & Mouse disease. Watched dog lick the inside of a cats mouth [as the cat yawned - Eric]. Thought today was Friday but it is only Tuesday. Picked scabs from dogs nose.
The day after 20th March 2001. It snowed all day today, but the snow didn't contain any snow adhesive so it didn't stick.
Nothing happened yet. Tried to saw dog in half. Nothing?
Breakfast. Nothing - a bit more nothing. Nothing for tea - some more nothing. Went to bed. The future is furtive.
Spent all day today painting all the dirt & dust in the garage its original dirt & dust colour. Painted all the coloured cats white [they were not happy about this so I had to nail their paws to the floor & paint them with a lavatory cleaning brush].
Rudely awoken from an interesting dream about being suffocated in a giant plastic bag prison type thing, chair, box, cling-film, cardboard death chamber coma dream suffocation thing! Rather nice while it lasted? Fuck!
Spent the afternoon studying the waterflow of sink and baths in empty houses. Plucked all the dogs fur out with tweezers. Here is some of it that was plucked from around its penis.
Huge mass killing of cattle and sheep and then putting them in huge fucking hole. On a brighter note they have re-opened B&M Bargains. It has new electric doors & new shelves stocked with the same crappy rubbish as before. Jelly Babies & Dr. Pepper for lunch. Wore clean socks for the first time in four weeks.
Dull day but enlivened at tea time by watching police deal with an armed holed-up in some shitty drug flats. Bought 2 tins of cat food. Sunny evening, watched shadows of tree on the wall at the bottom of the garden.
Realised today how utterly pointless & boring keeping a diary really is if you were to do it properly! Never got round to writing to Placebo? Or man from crisp factory. Six letters to post but couldn't be arsed to buy stamps in Post Office.
Tried to make pen work. Created artificial rain. Nice dream, but can't remember what it was?
Awoke at midday. Fruitcake for dinner. Watched television for 3 seconds. Walked past a rotting kebab on a traffic island.
Dog farted. Did something pointless. Dog farted again. Watched washing blowing slowly on washing line.
Read book about the Pre-Raphaelites. Tape re-corded dog singing. Tape re-corded cat sneezing whilst an aeroplane passed over head and one passenger vomited, another picked his nose and flicked it at a stewardesses arse. Someone ate a banana and an old man choked to death on his false teeth. Bought some broccoli & something that looked like spit. Out of date food for tea.
Moist interesting nights dreaming about mutilation, radioactive waste disease death, memories & general carnage. Must have been something I eight. Visited a rather unpleasant place, nothing unusual happened, remember something important while walking across a zebra crossing! Evening spent deep in thought thinking about the depth of thought [probably as deep as any of the deepest holes in existence]. Cats never gamble & they have no concept of money.
Sixth week of Foot & Mouse disease. Can't think of one interesting observation yet! Pistachio nuts for tea. Spent evening listening to various kettles boiling inside the garage. All the steam caused the garage to evaporate. Very unfortunate!
Dream fragment - Angry Hotel comissionaires crucifying a tiny Jesus in a giant metal crucifix/coffin type thing under a pier [possibly Brighton]. Jesus was either Les Dennis or Rik Mayall?
Saw a very unhappy wet pigeon sitting or huddling next to a used orange condom.
7th April. We exist in a place that has been replaced with ABBATOIRS built from the rotting remains of disease ridden lying bastard politicians. No one can deny this fact.
Saw a squirrel looking furtively at a sheep whilst it rained heavily and we listened to an old fur-encrusted T-Rex tape. Visited a house with no shelves, very messy! I had to leave a record shop & a book shop due to some unpleasant sounding people who I had the misfortune to be standing next to.
Dog sicked up tiny remains of human fingers all over hand brake as we went round Around-About on our way to Curries. They now rest in a tiny plastic bag in the bureau along with other solid things that disagree with his tiny dog stomach and he sicked up several hours later along with foul smelling grean bile! Tried to avoid watching the shiny new television. Spent evening listening to shiny new-old Fall CDs. [Plasma Screen TV ￡7-8000 if ordered from Comet]
8.16 am saw a lollipopman dashing by on his bicycle. Watched two pigeons fighting. Read enormous book about Benjamin West, the first artist born in America to achieive international stature.
Read a very thin narrow book about radiators. Saw two very old midgets shopping
Breakfast - small squares of cheese with a peanut on top.
Can't remember anything interesting happening today - maybe I am dead?
Breakfast - went over the top - small squares of cheese with 'two' peanuts on top.
Thought cat was going to write a novel but it couldn't get the top off the pen.
More very odd dreams due to massive cheese intake. Too strange to write down but can remember the vastness and immense bizarre details of a hell on earth camping trip inside something dead & rotting. Knee deep in blood & entrails of something?
Thought I saw a nun with a step ladder! Saw a very old thing and a very narrow kitchen with cookers. Dream about flying and imaginary photographs of things that never existed except in the minds of imaginary people who existed in a non-existent place. [v.good]
Cat tried to assassinate the Queen. Unluckily he forgot to put bullets in gun.
Considered buying nail scissors.
Made a dog kennel out of Twiglets.
Opened a door. Mowed the lawn for the first time in 6 months.
Opened a new packet of soap. Suicide bombers in Israel. Health risk of cancer from burning cows.
Watched 23 different things that included the following:-
3. The dogs eyebrows
4. Checkout womans teeth in Safeways.
8. Sky at different times of the day & night
9. Road signs
10. Bruises & cuts
11. Hair & stubble
13. Tree stumps
16. Ink in pens
17. Trouser & shoes
18. Car head lights & aerials.
19. Dirt on rims of cups & wine glasses
20. Jumpers & shirts
21. Rubber ducks
22. Books & old records in charity shops.
23. Blossom on trees & bushes.
Spent day watching grass grow a tiny amount in the back garden.
Strange dream concerning a mail order body parts operation that sent me a new body part each day. Eventually I had an 8 or 9 foot body in the kitchen. I was then sent all the intestines and inside body parts. For some reason they did not look like normal inside body parts? Woke up and listened to 'Songs for Drella' by Lou Reed & John Cale.
23rd Spon [Brown day].
Posted a large [brown] envelope filled with six year old memories & ideas that I still [and will never] understand. Painted something [brown] - am glad that I have no more [brown] paint, I loathe & hate [brown] paint, I loathe & hate [brown]. I am very glad that grass is green & it covers horrid [brown] soil. II suppose I must be grateful for this one small gift in life. It could have been the other way around! Horrible thought. Also, pity about the colour of tree bark! Glad I am not called [brown] as well.
Saw a priest carrying a staple gun. But it was in fact a yellow helicopter. Sunny day that became very wet. Saw many strange & weird things today! Listened to something very old that actually sounded very new.
The difference between a pencil and a pen is this. Spent the day & evening watching clouds drift by. Dream - some one sent me a very sharp sword in order to kill all plasterers in the world. Bought some new type of shoes!
Watched cat have a big piss.
On the road to Monets garden. Saw many very irritating Americans discussing religion with their sons. Sat next to a man with hairy nostrils.
I don't care. You don't care. We don't care. Nobody cares?
Some people I vaguely know - house burnt down very quickly.
Spent evening painting in the rain - unfortunately notebook got so wet it nearly fell apart!
Saw 4 ducks going for a walk near a very busy main road. Dead mouse on doorstep this morning. Bought book about David Sylvian and I read it very quickly.
Visited the Tate in Liverpool and saw some lovely pictures by Picasso, Bonnard, Hockney, Mark Boyle, Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, David [?]. Spent several hours studying their surfaces & colours.Splendid afternoon! And also Miro, Dubuffet & Frank Auerbach as well! Caught dog trying to shag grey cat.
Woke up, fell asleep and then woke up again. Strange dreams about things that aren't very nice. Placed dead mouse in jam jar in garage.
Woke up and listened to 'Pied Piper' by Crispian St. Peter and watched an empty black bin liner blow around the garden. Then listened to 'Just Like Eddie' by Heinz and then 'Sea of Heartbreak' by Don Gibson and finally 'He Kissed Me' by the Crystals. Came home to find dead mouse in jam jar completely maggott ridden. So threw it in neighbours garden that I do not like. Saw odd man having a really good pick of his left nostril whilst stareing into a shop window - possibly a jewelers or shoe shop? Avoided neighbour who I do not like as I saw him find jam jar with maggot ridden mouse corpse inside, he didn't look very impressed - think he threw it in his dustbin! Listened to 'Let it Bleed' by the Rolling Stones.
Saw a well dressed elderly gentleman riding a Harley Davidson. Listened to bees pollinating flowers and dried blossoms blowing against walls and pavements.
Cut grass with tiny pair of scissors. Very, very odd dream last night - vague & weird people with severe mental problems turning into shops, cows & dogs! People crying tears that turned into churches & cathedrals - an overall sense of religious doom & surreal heaven? Don't know! A strange sense of ridiculous hope & not hope? Things expanding turning in to unexpanded things drifting & bright! Then returning to darkness & dreadfulness - no hope in this place - only fear and certain death after an initial baptism of enlightenment. Took dog for walk.
Things overheard on the way back from Monets garden -
1: Where is there a public toilet I can take hostage! [No public toilet was taken hostage].
2: I always sleep better with a hand grenade stuffed up my arse! [No way to disprove this statement]. Actually heard evening of 6th May 2001.
Very old 'Fall' songs played on the only CD player that works in the house. Flower petals from Monets garden dry silently in a chest of drawers. Changed one Rolling Stones CD for this one.
Nothing Day - Read funny story about a man who killed his wife & four step-children. Working on pictures of people who have been stabbed to death. Mainly children
Visited the David Hockney exhibition at Saltaire Mill. Jolly splendid day. Big spaces full of pictures, books, furniture, chairs, photographs & pianos. Bought book about David Cronenberg. Saw large plastic dinosaur.
Wet day spent standing in rain. Got wet.
Day of blood and blooded animal carcasses. Blood on carpet. Blood on wall of toilet, blood and flesh on garage floor, blood on sink! Spent afternoon reading book that is covered in spots and fingerprints of blood. Small traces of blood on cats whiskers. Blood on bed sheets! Changed them for ones not covered in blood but flowers.
Saw graffiti on wall that says - Why police.
Saw graffiti on the side of an electric generator building next to a shit smelling park that just said - orgasm! Further on down a scummy back alley, written on the wall of an old rock factory where the words - hits from the bong - in bright red letters. Saw midget, with very long large head, nearly knocked over by elderly man in large cow or car? Walking in to the gents toilets in the casino I heard an old New Order song playing as I took a piss but couldn't remember the name of it? And the entire room shimmered in the wind as if all the wallpaper and furniture was nailed to the washing drying on the line outside.
Talked to Eric about the meaning of life, but unfortunately, being only a cat he had no idea what he was talking about. Read interesting article on Jamaican graffiti. Primitive thoughts about fire, death, very real feelings about our past and future, if it's going to happen it'll happen and we mean nothing - dragged along without asking. We don't care - we have lost our feeling for any form of compassion or genuine careing. People die in front of the television. We need to be 'shocked' in a real sense to jolt us from the television, work place apathy [general life] cruel, cold, asleep, destiny no feelings nothing - no - thing. Create a new religion or pigeon. Watched good film called 'Boys Don't Cry'.
Wiped dust from the surface of something dusty.
Watched excellent film called 'All the Little Animals' with John Hurt in it. Dog exploded. Watched 2 ginger cats staring at each other in a funny way?
Morning - attacked by wild dog then walked in to lamppost. Afternoon - lovely and wet - sat in a darkened room listening to 'Everything and Nothing' by David Sylvian and reading biography of William Burroughs by Ted Morgan. Drinking French red wine that cost 89p a bottle. Evening - nothing but wind and rain.
Spent evening watching clouds.
Graffiti on wall of Liberal Democrat party HQ in big black letters 'VOTE ELVIS'
Hollow empty feeling this morning. Listened to 'The Smiths' in an attempt to cheer myself up a bit. Cats have left half a mouse in the garage.
Watched '2001 A Space Odyssey' this evening. Why doesn't now look like that? Saw graffiti on old falling down building that said 'danger keep out'. Nearly got knocked over by a bycycle.
Bought copy of 'Less Than Zero' fromme book fair. Visited nice shop & bought very expensive salt & pepper pots.
Dry bread for dinner. Discussed the possibility of plastic surgery on the dogs head to remove his saggy eyes & wobbly chin bits. I seem to be absorbing music & writing at an enormous rate. Also appear to be less dark than last year. Thinking more about nature and clouds, trees, leaves, insects, grass etc ... rocks, earth, dirt, flowers.
Met some body who wasn't very happy.
Read books about Picasso, Throbbing Gristle and extracts of Cities of the Red Night by William Burroughs. Listened endlessly to Black Water by David Sylvian. V beautiful & haunting song!
Listened to The Smiths 'singles' especially No. 11 Panic and No.15 Girlfriend in a Coma. Line from an old Psychic T.V . song came to mind - dreams less sweet became more real whilst I thought about a world of human piss plants? Watched 'meet the parents'.
Wet with thunder & lightning. Reading Kenneth Williams diaries. Watched Call Me Joe? Picture fell off wall due to '1964' string.
Slept very late. Watched 'American Werewolf'.
Slept very late again - took dog on beach - kite convention - dog had fight with another dog. Watched 'Ronin'. Listened to old Cabaret Voltaire album 'Voice of America'. Watched documentary about Picasso - repaired and re-hung picture that fell off wall on Friday - only three pages of this diary left - eric not very happy today. Dream about a world covered entirely in dead animals and pavements made from dead mice. When I said art is dead I really meant that modern society had killed art but art can only ressurect itself when modern society is dead. We will continue!
Dream about a civilisation of cancerous flys living in a decaying city made from wombs, scabs, ear wax & human dog farting machines roam the city & vomit acidic beans & sausages over the flies to try & kill their maggot offspring buried deep inside rotten human organs & dead babies that drowned in ancient poisonous spinal fluids. My mother was today diagnosed with Spon disease.
Wet. Thought about the space between spaces in a very spatial but initially flat way. Had bath. Read 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath & listened to 'Concert' The Cure Live. Due to lack of people going to country during Foot & Mouse epidemic there is a strain of mutant plants that have taken over near streams and can give off skin infections if touched. Sounds like fun! When leaving no entry is permitted. Maybe to some death is a lovely dream whilst the world itself [reality] is a bad dream - last line inspired and stolen from Sylvia Plath. Also KleenPane windows cleaned today. Free quotes Tel 01253 or 7500411. Took to looking at book about Pre Raphaelites whilst listening to The Smiths*. Particular favourite plates include page 85. Girlfriend in a Coma. William Dyce - Pigwell Bay, Kent -a recollection of October 5th 1858 and whilst listening to Placebo* page 107 - William Holman Hunts - The Shadow of Death 1870-73. Whilst thinking about my own father who was a carpenter! And my own date of birth 23-06-66. Black-eyed*.