Cloot Cloot! Beep Beep!
Christmas cell phone hit could ace out Hamster Dance

Christmastime: the scent of pine, the jingling of sleigh bells, the ringing of cash tills, and the godawful screech of the cell phone. In the aisles of every store people are shouting out loud in public. In every fancy bar office, workers stand around talking loudly in groups, but none of them are conversing with each other -- they're talking to their hands: "Yes dear, I got the Pokémon crotchless panties, but they were all out of Bugger-me-Elmo butt-plugs... of course I remembered the cranberry."

See also...
... by Iain Aitch
... in the Scope section
... from December 20, 1999

Now one of cell-phonedom's most annoying novelty rings has been sampled for an anti-cell phone CD released last week by dance act Solid Gold Chartbusters. "I Wanna 1-2-1 With You" is a steal from the catchphrase of one of the UK's largest mobile phone network providers, and the video features a cell phone user being beaten and thrown into the Thames. The track will no doubt be sung with much gusto and little irony by drunken mobile-wielding suits at office parties this Christmas -- and who's to say that it won't be used to advertise the damn things next year?

The band contains pop-prankster Jimmy Cauty, who is best known as a member of aural art-terrorists The KLF, responsible for Tammy Wynette's last #1 hit. He also struck gold with The Timelords -- a novelty act that featured aging glam-rocker Gary Glitter, who was recently jailed after being nabbed with a hard disk full of child porn. Their single, "Doctorin' The Tardis," was made to a formula established by Cauty and his KLF partner Bill Drummond. The formula was later released in book form as The Manual. The book claimed that if you followed each step word-for-word then you were guaranteed a #1 hit or your money back. The formula was certainly a success for Cauty and Drummond, who made enough cash to burn £1 million of it as an art prank.

Cauty's partner in musical crime this time around is former Pink Floyd bass-player Guy Pratt, who has previously written hits for Fat Les. This appallingly crass outfit features Sensation artist Damien Hirst, Blur bassist Alex James, their loud actor drinking chum Keith Allen, and even desperate former Clash frontman, Joe Strummer. Their biggest hit to date was "Vindaloo," a yobbish anthem that extolled the virtues of extremely hot curries and the England soccer team.

Cauty happily admits that the single is awful and calls it "throwaway novelty pop," claiming that one listen will be more than enough. Though "I Wanna 1-2-1 With You" may not be the worst release this Christmas, it will certainly present some stiff competition to the equally wannabe Christmas hits such as The Cuban Boys' Cognoscenti vs. Intelligentsia and aged Christian bore Sir Cliff Richard's paean to the end of the century.

Sir Cliff's"Millennium Prayer,"whichsets The Lord's Prayer to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne," has topped the UK charts for the last three weeks. It's so piss-poor that even the MOR radio stations who pander to his fans won't play it. But luckily for him the clergy, the mad, and the infirm have rallied 'round and have been pilfering the collection plate in order to purchase multiple copies. After all, it's probably what Jesus would have wanted for his birthday.

People who are tiring of Christmas cell-phone mania can take comfort from a completely different Kuban boy. Adam Kuban of Portland, Oregon, is saying "no more." In fact, he is saying "Cloot! Cloot!" very loudly wherever these mobile-morons gather. He will no longer suffer one-sided, high-decibel conversations which begin "I'm on the bus..." and has started a movement whose aim is to stop this kind of inconsiderate behavior.

"The most annoying thing to me is when the person next to you is talking about business," he says. "I'm tired of hearing about the stock market and about dipshits who want to provide me with solutions."

Kuban's Cloot Insurgency manifesto rails against those who can't leave their work at the office and who make pointless calls in supermarkets and restaurants. The Cloot Insurgents cry "Cloot! Cloot!" at cell phone users in an echo of the fearsome cries of "Gloup! Gloup!" that victims of legendary flan-flinger Noel Godin hear just before a custard pie hits their face. Kuban plans to unite those that hate cell phones behind his ridiculous rallying cry. Groups of activists are already springing up from Seattle to St. Louis.

He hopes that by disrupting the "important" calls of these communication junkies he will make them think twice before dialing, and maybe some will even turn their phones off before entering movie theaters. Failing that, there's always the option of humming the "Hamster Dance" over and over again. It may not improve matters much, but it's a fine revenge.

Iain Aitch does not own a cell phone, so why he's talking to himself remains a mystery.