words Grace Ryan illustration Ben Robertson
Hooray! British summertime is here. You can tell because town is flooding and I’ve only had to turn my heating on every other day. Just let me check my phone to make sure I haven’t slept through August and woken up in November…in Manchester.
Fear not, you soggy monsters. The month of June may have been wetter than an otter’s pocket, but my uber-reliable super secret journalist sources (Yahoo Answers) inform me that this summer’s tipped to be an absolute scorcher. It will literally be so hot that you might as well have booked a holiday on the planet Mercury. Take it from me, there’s still plenty of time for a traditional Jersey summer – the ladies can spray themselves the colour of a cheap wardrobe, the price of beachside Cornettos will go up another quid and we can grow chubby on a diet of charred meat marinated in Pimm’s.
Summertime also means something special for us journalists, as its that time of year when we get to gaze into our crystal balls and compose lists telling you what to do, think and throw up. If we’re lucky, we also get to repay all the free meals and bikini waxes we get given by bigging a few people up. I know that most of us did the same thing right before Christmas, but the makers of Preparation H will not be satisfied until I’ve squeezed a plug for their product in somewhere.
Without further ado, here are my sizzling tips for a summer that’s hotter than a pint of piri piri in your pants. Preparation H: it soothes the burn.
Scorching hot fashion
The ongoing revival of 90s style has seen fashionistas from Hoxton to Le Hocq kitted out like a cross between Pat Butcher and a dancer from Dreamscape. Preening knobbers everywhere have tried their hardest to look like an East German Jimmy Saville so, short of raiding a clown’s wardrobe and rolling in paint, there isn’t much to do to make yourself more garish than the next muppet. The true trend-setter must always stand out, and the solution is the look pioneered by that true fashion renegade: your gran.
The vogue for ironic wolf shirts and hideous playsuits means that even raiding mum’s 80s wardrobe is passé, so the prettiest young things have delved deep to borrow gran’s shapeless long coat, surgical stockings and those little fluffy boots with zippers on the side. Fake hearing aids are the new hipster glasses, and the word on the street is that a blue-rinsed Kate Moss is rocking a cardigan covered in cat hair and a tartan trolley on wheels.
Hotness rating: electric blanket on maximum
Hot hits – summer jams
I spent the 1996 August bank holiday semi-conscious in a paddling pool full of wee, listening to Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’ and ‘Summertime’ by Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince on repeat until one of my kidneys blew up. It’s no surprise I developed a violent reaction to all summery music, and so am way ahead of the curve on this season’s trend for miserable, doomy sounds.
Forget playing Bob Marley and the Macarena at your beach barbecue – the cool kids are cooking sausages to the hottest underground genre out there right now: Norwegian black metal. Tired of bands that normal people can enjoy, hipsters have foresworn pop music and indie in favour of the guttural howling of men who worship Odin and dress like a bunch of S&M goblins.
Next time you’re at a garden party, if the DJ won’t play Gorgoroth’s ‘Possessed (by Satan)’ or the timeless ‘I Am The Black Wizards’ by Emperor, you should stand at the corner and scowl at them until they get the message – when the sun is shining, let’s all listen to Darkthrone.
Hotness rating: 666 degrees, the burning evil fires of hell
In an age where you can see nipples on CBeebies and there’s a camera in the toilet in Big Brother, it’s fair to say that celebrities have lost a lot of their mystique. What was once glamorous, mysterious and untouchable has been revealed to fart in the bath and eat Super Noodles for dinner. Where are the real celebrities to admire, emulate and occasionally kidnap?
The answer is: on trial in The Hague, because the hottest celebrities now are the dictators. They look good, live lives of luxury and play by their own rules – right til the point they’re paraded on camera by US Special Forces, or get shot up in a rusty pipe.
Soon Heat magazine will give up on Cheryl Cole in favour of Vladimir Putin, and the pages of Hello will be graced by photoshoots with Bashar Al-Assad, a few African guys in combat fatigues and whoever’s currently in charge of Sark. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian move over – until you’ve got a gold-plated fighter jet you’re strictly B-list.
Hotness rating: hotter than hiding out in the Sahara
With cinemagoers still reeling from the surprise twist in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (SPOILER: the aliens are The Clangers), this summer promises so many event movies that popcorn supplies will be strictly rationed to a teacup each (£11 plus GST). After the Oscar-winning turn of a waxwork of Rihanna in board-game-turned-blockbuster BattleShip, coked-up Hollywood moguls have rushed to release big-screen adaptations of other thrilling games of skill and plastic. I for one cannot wait to see Lady Gaga in Yahtzee: the Movie, Will Ferrell as ‘the patient’ in Operation! or for the release of Buckaroo 2: Plastic Boogaloo.
Aside from a movie version of every single comic superhero ever, also expect the cinema to be flooded with reboots of any 80s franchise that managed to con mum out of twenty quid’s worth of toxic plastic for your ninth birthday. We’ve had Transformers, Scooby Doo and Thundercats, so try and keep down your hotdog for the unbridled excitement of 3D versions of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Around The World With Willy Fogg and Pob.
Hotness rating: a mouth full of mouldy mustard