51 Ways To Kill A Conversation

Ross Cover 2014

The release of the short story anthology ’51 Ways To Kill A Conversation’ is getting closer and closer (anticipated eBook release December 2014).

And here is the artwork, produced by Piper Gates Design.

The Front Door design is intended as an entry point into the book; where each short story represents a different everyday tale, with surreal twists and comedic turns reminiscent of something Roald Dahl or Peter Cook might have made.

’51 Ways…’ will include the following shorts:

– Plateau 

– Swedish Wood 


There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

For 28 years Morrissey has known of a light that never goes out, and yet he has never divulged it’s location. During that time 43 Polar Bears have drowned to death because of melting Ice Caps. It is estimated that had the light that never goes out been put out for just 8 hours a day during those 28 years then the lessened Carbon Footprint would have allowed the Polar Bears to survive and possibly prosper. The Polar Bears can at least take solace from the fact that they are white; if they were black Morrissey would have also said something boring and potentially racist about them too.


The Future

A new report has revealed that over 51% of Under 18s (52%) do not read newspapers.

Consequentially when asked who Vince Cable was 69% of Under 18s answered ‘1970s Porn Star’.

The report, commissioned by The Telegraph, was not well received; hardly anyone read it in the newspapers after it was originally published.

But after the findings were Retweeted by Stephen Fry the cold potato was heated to a wider audience.

Stephen Fry’s Tweets were simultaneously Retweeted by both Caitlan Moran and Lauren Laverne – a process known as ‘Stweeting’. ‘Stweeting’ refers to the process of celebrities who are cool (‘or ‘Street’) on Twitter (therefore ‘Stweet’) popularising things. The term was first coined by Jonathan Ross before he became irrelevant in 2011.

As a result of this news it has today been decided by Parliament to start teaching tomorrow’s news today as part of the National Curriculum in a new Humanities subject called ‘Future’.

Here are some reported elements of the new syllabus:

  • The Fall Of London In 2021

The City is declared bankrupt as UK unemployment reaches 23.51 million (a Personal Best and new British Record). A generation was inspired to give up on education, knowledge and pragmatism in pursuit of jumping further than Greg Rutherford. Sickness is rife as over 5 million people, each with calf muscles tighter than a Croydon Facelift, remain untreated because the defunct Velodrome isn’t a hospital.  1 in 3 children fail to reach the age of 13 as Athlete’s Foot ravages the population. In turn there is a dearth in potential new champions and the middle-aged are forced to continue running and running and running and running.  George Spiggott has now circumnavigated Clapham Common 16,643 times in a row.  George Spiggott has been propositioned unsuccessfully 16, 642 times. On the plus side, no-one is obese.

  • The End Of Poverty In 2024

Following Scottish Independence and a further 5 years of Coalition rule, the Conservatives recorded a landslide victory in the 2020 General Election (sponsored by Tesco’s) under the slogan ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’. After the fall of London in 2021 the Government relocated the Capital to somewhere in Cambridge before ending Poverty by ignoring it.

  • The Dark Ages 2027

By 2026 every town in England had reached their full Tesco’s capacity (1 Superstore, 2 Express Stores and 1 Petrol Garage). This forced the Minister For Tesco’s consented to outline plans to build a Tesco’s on the Sun. Arthur Downs of Downs & Sons Sun Butchers launched a fierce legal case against the Supermarket, claiming that his Sun business had been hotting up for some time and that the increased competition would detriment local amenity. Final consent was granted on the condition that the Sun Tesco’s couldn’t sell alcohol before 11am. In the event the new Tesco’s blocked so much of the Sun that no-one is quite sure when 11a, actually is.


Predictions For 2014

  • The Daily Hugh Grant to become the UK’s best read Newspaper; in which Hugh Grant decides exactly what is and what isn’t newsworthy on a daily basis
  • Clare Balding to become Clare Balded
  • The Hugh Grant Times to be dissolved after a publication run of only two weeks; set up by the remnants of 2013’s Free Press with the aim of dishing the dirt on the life of Hugh Grant. Hugh Grant by then lives an increasingly dull life spending hours at a time editing The Daily Hugh Grant instead of misdemeaning
  • Juan Mata won’t matter at the World Cup Finals
  • Hugh Grant wins The X Factor 2014 (thanks to strong media support)
Hugh Grant composing the 2014 Christmas No 1

Hugh Grant composing the 2014 Christmas No 1


‘ ‘I’ve come to read your meter’ said the Gas Man in a surprisingly soft voice.

Martin Martin remained unmoved.

‘*cough*’ coughed the Gas Man.

Martin Martin moved. The Gas Man bounced inside and the door was closed carefully behind him.

He was a slight man, perhaps 40 to 45 in age and an 8 with a thick sock in shoe size. With his gentle eyes and glowing jowls he didn’t necessarily look like a Gas Man. Mind you, thought Martin Martin, you take any job you can get these days (he himself was an Electric Fan by day).

‘I’ve come to read your meter’ said the Gas Man in an unsurprisingly soft voice.

Martin Martin pointed under the stairs. ‘


Plateau Out Now

‎’Plateau’ – my eBook – is out today on the Amazon site. You can get it on your Kindle, and if you haven’t a Kindle because you’re worried about dropping it on your face whilst reading in bed or what have you, then you can download a FREE Kindle PC Reader instead.

‘Plateau’ is the satirical tale of Martin Martin, who, mid-life and mid-love, is on his way to the job interview that could change his life.

It’s only a short story (10 pages) and is only 77 pence – cheaper than an Airport chocolate– so you’ve no excuses! I’d be very grateful to anyone who reads it, and I’m loudly confident that you’ll find it worth your time! 




Martin Martin, mid-life and mid-love, has never taken a chance in his life. Now he finds himself an interview away from the promotion that would return purpose to his world. But will he ever make it to the interview?

Plateau combines the surrealist humour of Peter Cook and Armando Iannucci, the horror of modern monotony favoured by JG Ballard and the unexpected treachery of Roald Dahl; balanced with a little of the Author’s own niche-pastiche.


In other news, I’m currently writing a short Play about IKEA.