In my defence of the classic tale you are about to read, I would say – not many aspiring comedy bloggers could squeeze three different cocks into a single anecdote. In fact, I would probably advise you smear yourself with lube before reading any further.

This tale of three parts begins at school, with an immature and puerile act typical of adolescent lads, and continues with an equally immature and puerile act of my own in later adult life – I really was a late developer in every sense.

We were in high school, and some rumours had been circulating regarding the sexual orientation of one fellow pupil, a lad I will refer to as Rob. Homosexuality had not reached the West of Scotland in the 1990s, and so there were two sexual preferences for the male pupils in the school. He could be interested in his female peers, indeed most were, and pursue romantic and sexual relations with the ladies. Or alternatively he could be interested in sexual union of the more sheepy variety. Yes, rumour had it, that Rob was a sheep-shagger, who dreamt of romantic evenings by candlelight in the company of man’s woolliest friend, and the tantalising promise of a special winter willy warmer.

A young artist and wannabe anthropologist in the yeargroup, who I shall call Johnson, had noted Rob’s fondness for lamb, and in addition to spreading this sexual preference around the rest of the school verbally, also commissioned himself to produce a piece of work that would shake the school, the art world, the farming community and young Rob to their very knees.

The “life drawing” he produced was a painstakingly sketched depiction of one of life’s most intimate moments, seen through the eyes of Rob and his ovine partner (although to be honest the position they were in meant only Rob could see anything, the sheep was just looking off to the distance with a pained expression on its face). As a metaphor for Rob’s limitless affinity for these creatures, the sheep was giant-sized, and Rob was on stilts in order to reach the required height for lovemaking. The piece was inscribed with the title “Rob – Sheep Shagger”; the bluntness of the title jarring (deliberately we presumed) with the thoughtful and poignant imagery. In a sense, Johnson’s goal here was to make us all think about how we rush to pigeon-hole people and use mean words when we see a young man on stilts knobbing a giant sheep.

Johnson wasted no time waiting for artistic recognition, nor awards or prizes, for this work. He went straight into mass production.

A total of 50 photocopies were made, a good start, and Johnson set about with distribution and logistics. Copies of this artwork were to be posted around town, presumably to raise the value of the original, and also to raise awareness of sheep love around the school and community.

Copies were pushed through letterboxes, clearly to ensure even housebound members of the public were aware of, and supportive of, Rob’s sexual choices. Additional copies were sent to various locations by mail, scheduled to arrive in the coming days, ensuring the issue of Rob’s dodgy leanings (perhaps due to the stilts) could not be forgotten.

It was about halfway through the complex distribution endeavour that it dawned on Johnson that Rob had not been ready to have his alleged sexual orientation discussed by the entire community, and like many great artists before him, trouble came his way. One grassing schoolmate was heard to say “It was Johnson, he never did have a sense of scale.”

After being promptly shepherded into the Headmaster’s office, Johnson realised he couldn’t pull the wool over everyone’s eyes anymore and he confessed. He was suspended from school for two weeks, his pencils confiscated and his photocopying rights severely curtailed. Some say he deserved it, some say he went too far. Some say he was a hero, helping out the little guy (by giving him stilts so he could reach the giant sheep). But this was of little consolation to Rob, as further copies of the sketch made their way through letterboxes around the town at the whim of Royal Mail.

Fast-forward about 6 or 7 years, I had moved to Birmingham for my first job and was living in a small bedsit with a nudist and a nutcase for neighbours. I had kept in touch with Johnson sporadically during Uni and beyond via e-mail and instant messenger. Also during this time, the nudist antics of my favourite neighbour seem to have rubbed off on me and I had become known to streak or do various nudey dares at the drop of a hat (especially if the hat was strategically placed between my legs). Indeed, as a true late developer, I had waited until I was salaried and independently living before doing the kind of stupid immature things my friends had got out of their system many years previous.

One evening, while chatting on instant messenger to Johnson, I was telling him about my new place. He found it hilarious that my interest in all things Wallace & Gromit – which I was quite famous for at school – had remained with me, and I told him of the Wallace & Gromit posters hanging up on my wall. He asked to see, so I got my amazing new 1/2 megapixel digital camera out and prepared to take a photo.

At some point in proceedings I decided that, as I was sitting around on my laptop wearing only a towel, it would be “hilarious” if I took a photo of these posters with me standing completely naked in front. Yes, you can see my comedy has come along leaps and bounds since those days. After all, what’s better than a surprise picture of your anorexically thin schoolmate; you guessed it, a surprise picture of your anorexically thin schoolmate wearing fuck all. I set my state-of-the-art Kodak digital camera to take a timed shot, and it was done. “The look on his face when he sees this” I giggled, feeling like some kind of cock shock-jock.

"Cracking pose, Gromit!"
“Cracking pose, Gromit!”

That was naïve for several reasons.

Firstly, his reaction was not one of shock nor hilarity. Without hesitation, he copy-pasted the photo into an e-mail and sent it to all our mutual schoolfriends. Can you believe that? Of course you can, because what you’re thinking is the one thing that completely escaped me at the time – I had sent this picture to the one person who had a PREVIOUS DOCUMENTED TRACK RECORD in the copying and distribution of incriminating explicit materials. It was like the Rob incident all over again, except he didn’t need to do any drawing, or pay for any photocopying, or feel the wrath of the headmaster. Of all the people to send such a photo to.

It was almost worth it for the fact that one of our friends he sent it to, who was still at Uni studying for a PhD, opened this innocuous looking e-mail the next day right in the middle of a busy computer lab, with no idea what was about to fill his screen in this very public place.

The second reason this act was naïve because, as I later learned, one of Johnson’s “party tricks” is that he can hang his manhood into a pint glass and comfortably touch the bottom. I shall wait a few moments while you ladies rush off to the kitchen to get a pint glass.

Yes ladies that’s right, touches the bottom! I believe though when once demonstrating this pint glass trick, he had complaints that there was too much head.

So aside from sending this piece of nudey terrorism to the one person most likely to copy it and distribute it to all and sundry, he was also the person most likely to snigger in a derisory fashion at the exposed contents of the photo.

It couldn’t get any worse could it. Course it could.

About a year later, my workmate Thomas was round at my place, and I was showing him this new internet thing called filesharing, where you could download … um … digital versions of things you had already bought and owned. Yes that’s right, just things you had bought. Definitely not download anything else, like free music and stuff. Maybe you could do that, but of course I never would, and certainly not in an incriminating anecdote on an internet blog.

So I was showing Thomas how to use this new internet technology responsibly, and in a copyright-respecting way, when I noticed a file starting to transfer off my PC. A file I didn’t realise I had put in my sharing folder, thereby allowing it to be grabbed by anyone. A file called me&wallace&gromit.jpg.

I didn’t have time to stop it, because it was a fucking 1/2 megapixel camera the file size was tiny and it transferred in seconds. For all I know this could now be the most viewed image on a bizarre “skinny naked dudes who like British animation” fetish site. I’ve occasionally in the past tried searching for it to see if I can find it, thankfully nothing yet. But it’s out there. Waiting for me to become famous, then it’ll suddenly appear in the tabloids – “McCann as you’ve never seen him before. Skinny, with no grey hair! Oh and naked”. Oh well, at least I’d be able to get another anecdote out of it.

Either way, despite kicking myself about sending this prank photo to Johnson, with his history of humiliating campaigns of mass distribution, never mind his pint-glass-bothering member, it wasn’t him who had caused this very private photo to be shared across the world wide web.

Thanks to my naïve use of peer-to-peer filesharing, it was actually me.

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