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My Room 101: The Stuff I Can’t Just Put On eBay…

“You asked me once,” said O’Brien, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”
“OMG! Justin Fletcher?!” asked Winston
“What? Oh ok, the thing that is in Room 101 is the second worst thing in the world.” said O’Brien
“Mr Tumble?” queried Winston
“Look, this book is being written in 1949, it’s not going to be Justin Fletcher, or Mr Tumble or Lord Tumble or… they aren’t even invented yet, CBeebies hasn’t even been invented. Just act scared, it’s meant to be scary”. said O’Brien despairing.
“Who’s Lord Tumble?” asked Winston.
“You’re a d**k” O’Brien exclaimed as he opened the cage and set the rats onto him.

Taken from the novel 1984 by George Orwell

The worst thing in the world? Well I suspect my own personal Room 101 would probably need to be a smidge bigger than Winston’s, his only needed room for rats, which considering he lived in tyranny under a totalitarian regime proves he was actually a fairly easy going chap. It would appear I’m not, I rattled these off in the night and from what I can gather I stopped rather than slowed at 101 purely for neatness, I’m fairly sure I could keep going indefinitely(what a happy go lucky soul).

As with previous posts I’ve resisted the urge to edit so apologies if the grammar’s not great, but it was ludicrous o’clock in the morning and as is generally the case with these reports I was half asleep when compiling it.

Anyway, are you sitting comfortably…

1. People who eat with heir mouths open, even though they aren’t actually toddlers.
2. ‘Celebrities’ who become celebrities on reality TV and then end up on ‘Celebrity’ reality TV programmes even though they aren’t actual celebrities.
3. Reality TV.
4. Religion
5. People who talk on their mobile to someone who they can actually see – “Hi, I’m over here, can you see me? …oh yeah, wave!”
6. Wimbledon fortnight
7. Shop workers who hover around ‘ closed’ tills when it’s busy, but don’t actually open the till so everyone in all the queues watch them, but pretend not to.
8. Shops with three staff monitoring the self service checkouts and one on the normal checkout for normal people who don’t want to play at working in a shop when they go to the shop.
9. Any impersonator who when interviewed on TV constantly does impressions.
10. Guests on TV programmes who don’t realise the presenter is blatantly trying to cue them up for the appalling anecdote they told the researcher about, three hours ago in make up, which they’ve forgotten because it was made up and/or they know it’s so deathly boring they don’t want to admit it on TV
11. People who disagree with what I say but don’t actually argue their case and just say I’m wrong. Because I’m not wrong.
12. BBC Breakfast after 9 o’clock when they’ve got bored and know everyone’s gone to work anyway
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13. Newsreaders and weathermen ‘chatting’ on the handover despite the fact the weatherman clearly hates the newsreader for being the cool one and the newsreader obviously looks down on the weatherman, because they’re the rules.
14. People who have mobiles but don’t switch them on
15. Txt Spk
16. The word ‘Chav’ and people that use it.
17. The noises houses make at night.
18. People who blank you when you hold a door open for them.
19. People with orange fake ‘tans’.
20. People who leave their shopping trolley blocking the aisle of a supermarket
21. When The Wife shouts at me for playing draining rack Buckaroo even though I’m amazing at t.
22. Pandas (a waste of money, cocky and an affront to Darwin)
23. Casual drinkers who only go out for Christmas Parties or New year’s Eve and generally act like idiots and get in my way.
24. Not being able to eat a meal because the host(too scared to put ‘mum’) spends the entire meal asking if you want more of the things you’ve not eaten yet anyway… “Help yourself to more potatoes… Have you got enough peas… Can I get you another drink… Just tuck in…. Have I done enough gravy… Here, have some more veg…”
25. People who seem to enjoy being stupid “Ohhh What am I like?!,”… “A dick”
26. Footballers who kiss the badge(of the ninth club they’ve played for in nine seasons)
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27. People that park in bus stops
28. People that park in bus stops to pick up their daughter from the bus and then the bus has to stop down the road (because someone is parked in the bus stop) to let everyone off, including the daughter who then waits for her f-wording mother to drive up the road to pick her up… Every night…
29. People that drive short distances instead of walking (and then probably park in a bus stop)(snap out of it)
30. The bit of non-chocolate at the bottom of a Cornetto
31. Little trilby hats on anyone under 65
32. Baseball caps on anyone over 65
33. Any journalists who refers to a foreign footballer from a minor country as “…the Uzbeki Messi”
34. People who say “They say…” as a prefix of an entirely unresearched, unproven, unlikely “fact” to make it sound less like their own moronic opinion.
35. Shiny leggings.
36. Parents who pierce the ears of their young children.
37. The hand on hip, slanty head pose that girls do in photographs.
38. When predictive text makes you look like a illiterate tool
39. Metro newspapers, specifically that it appears to be perfectly acceptable to drop the Metro anywhere tram, bus, floor, operating theatre…
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40. Serving Suggestions – if I have bought a tin of corned beef it’s because The Wife is away and I intend on eating it with a spoon straight from the tin, I am not planning a delicious family meal.
41. The awkward couple of seconds when a waitress is clearing your plates and you don’t know where you are meant to look
42. People that ask you a question just as you’ve taken a bite of something and then look expectantly and impatiently at you for an answer.
43. Groups of ‘wacky’ grown ups on a night out in fancy dress
44. Forced fun (party games, drinking games etc essentially anything that interrupts either conversation or the car keys getting thrown into the bowl)
45. Reborn dolls (if you don’t know, don’t ask, definitely don’t google it)
46. Children in pubs
47. Any shop or brand that claims to be “passionate” about their product or field. (Have a long hard look at yourself SCS, it’s a sofa, you cannot be passionate about a sofa)
48. Price tags or stickers that leave a mark on their ‘thing’
49. Card shops that put up their Christmas stuff in August, so diminishing the amount of time my friends have to spend choosing my birthday card (November) and therefore the amount of time they have to spend thinking about me.
50. Mr Alex Ferguson’s watch
51. Any programme or film featuring any actor or actress who has been in anything else, but is not an actual household name.(or the production company have to pause the action and flash up a quick filmography each time a vaguely recognisable actor comes on screen for the first time, so that I don’t constantly have to miss valuable plot explaining “where we’ve seen him before” to The Wife)
52. People who use the phrase “I’m not racist but…”. As they are clearly about to be.
53. Lateness.
54. Wasps (Bee Gestapo)
55. Paper cuts
56. I’m not racist but, Indian call centre workers who tell you their name is ‘Alan’ so you immediately think they’re sat overlooking the Thames, eating fish and chips in a bowler hat even though it’s fairly obvious that’s not their name.
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57. People who care more for animals than people.
58. Adverts on daytime TV aimed at old people to remind them they haven’t got long left… Don’t let your loved ones pay for your funeral etc etc
59. Sovereign rings on anyone who isn’t from the east end of London
60. London
61. Local Authorities unveiling their new modern logo, the development of which you know cost the same as 20 nurses salaries
62. Myrrh
63. People that post photos on Facebook of their car, drive, house etc as soon as there is anything closer to snow than a light frost.
64. Answerphone messages from old people
65. People who wait for the last item to be scanned and the price totalled before they look for their wallet or purse (for the record I clearly mean purse, but I’m trying to be PC)
66. People who get served in a busy pub, order one drink and then turn around and start asking their equally ignorant friends what they want to drink. (a. If they’re your friend you’d know and b. That’s not the rules)
67. Hideous people having affairs and thus forcing you to consider the concept of them having sex (luckily you won’t remember David Mellor so you won’t remember the toe sucking business)
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68. Chaps over 35 with long hair
69. American war films which seem to forget the presence of other Allied soldiers in World War Two, apart from Saving Private Ryan. Apologies Mrs Ryan but we’d definitely have phoned ahead or tweeted him or something, not sent a whole patrol of other people’s sons out to get… this is a no winner.
70. Michael Winner
71. Shops that put the security tag things through stuff so you can’t try them on.
72. Shop assistants who look at you like you’re a mentalist for asking if they have any more of something or make any other reference to the possibility that the big door at the back leads to a “storeroom” not the massive staff orgy palace it clearly does.
73. Shop assistants who lick their fingers to open a bag and then touch things that you now own with their licky fingers. (If they came to your house and went around licking their fingers before they touched your stuff you’d quite rightly beat them to death)
74. Shop assistants who reach past your outstretched hand and put your change on the counter.
75. My irrational fear of T-Rex’s, people whose arms are very slightly out of proportion with their bodies
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76. Cyclists who ride down the middle of the road.
77. Parents who dress their kids (particularly twins) in matching outfits.
78. Parents who wear matching outfits to their kids (unless they are in a cult)
79. Cults.
80. iPhone batteries.
81. Lying in bed trying to remember if you locked the back door
82. People who park in the Parent & Child spaces when they have a child seat in the car, but no child with them. For they knoweth the rules.
83. People that believe the Daily Mail
84. Oiks playing music from their phones on the bus.
85. Shaving
86. Fake bacon/turkey/veal etc for Vegetablists. Either eat meat and accept evolution or don’t.
87. “Knicker shorts”
88. Turkish Delight
89. The Walmart ‘family’
90. Cheap tea towels that are all printed and pretty and probably Cath Kidson or some such, but just push water around and can’t actually dry anything wetter than air.
91. ‘New Improved’ recipe products. I bought them because I liked them you bunch of… And put the salt back in my beans you bastards.
92. People who say ‘Like’ as punctuation.
93. People who call chips ‘fries’.
94. People who call crisps ‘chips’
95. Americans.
96. The Royal Family in any other capacity than a tourist attraction (and as such they spend their previously ‘interfering in Government stuff’ time by greeting tourists in Airport arrivals with touristy leaflets and flyers for visitor attractions)
97. ‘Fancy’ pint glasses.
98. When they change an actor in a series without any attempt at hiding it, generally because now the child actor, who was awesome at 6 because she could remember lines and her (failed actor) parents were fine with her being on set 16 hours a day, has grown up it’s become clear she has a face that looks equally furious and confused at all times.
99. Bruce Forsyth and whoever at the BBC is responsible for his continuing career
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100. People who walk erratically on pavements in front of me – Slow, fast, slow, stop…
101. Adverts on TV for companies who encourage morons to sue when they’ve been morons – “I used the wrong ladder because I’m an idiot, am I entitled to cripple the small family business I was working for at the time?”

Try and get that lot in there O’Brien…

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iPhone 5 Day

06.00 – Alarm goes off but I’ve been awake for hours, early start today, need to call the couriers. Ever since I saw the ‘Missed Delivery Card’ on Saturday I’ve been waiting excitedly for 7 o’clock this morning when UKMail’s office opens again. A little surprised they didn’t open up on Sunday to be honest.

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06.58 – Got straight through to UKMail(glad I set the alarm, bet everyone else will be on hold for ages) I tell them I’m calling about my new Apple iPhone 5 with Siri natural language commands and dictation but they recognise my voice from the answerphone messages, apparently it would have automatically been redelivered today anyway, it was definitely worth a few phonecalls and a handful emails to be sure though.

07.02 – Turn on BBC Breakfast to check weather reports for potential delivery complications, accidentally add a 0 and end up on Radio One, someone called ‘Grimmy’ is trying too hard. I reflect that his camp, nasal, overtly theatrical North Manchester drone would probably make me quite embarrassed if I was Mancunian.

07.27 – Freaky! Was just pondering how this is my last morning as a pleb and a story comes on the news about Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell calling a policeman a pleb on Wednesday! Two days before the release date. How the hell did he get his hands on one so early?

07.49 – There’s a piece on the news that Apple has just topped the ‘Coolbrands’ cool brand list.

08.12 – A car pulls up, I naturally assume it’s a courier. Turns out it’s just a neighbour turning around, I wave to them from the gate but get little response. Go back inside and continue getting dressed.

08.40 – This wait is agonising, can’t believe The Wife wouldn’t let me go and queue outside the Apple Store on Thursday night like all the normal people.

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09.07 – Idly scan Facebook whilst Dragon Quest loads, everyone seems to be sharing ’50 Shades Of Pwllheli’, reflect on how the Internet is wasted on some people, Dragon Quest opens.

09.33 – Notice a ‘Severe Weather Warning’ for the South-South East UK, immediately call UKMail, Amanda assures me it won’t affect a delivery between the Rhyl depot and Pwllheli. Also asks me to stop tying up the phone, I assume that things may not be quite so clear cut. Resolve to call back at 10.

09.50 – Amanda says there’s no more news, but I think it must be getting stressful there as she seems quite snappy on the phone. Will give her half an hour and see if she’s calmed down.

10.16 – Nick Clegg is on the news talking about the “Pleb” thing from the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Brighton, he seems furious, fuels my suspicion that he’s a HTC man.

10.20 – Decide to have a Cup A Soup, kettle takes ages to boil, bet there’s an App for pre-boiling the kettle, will definitely check on the iPad when the iOS 6 update has finished, can’t be long now as I started it last night to be sure it would be ready for the big day.

10.31 – On hold to UKMail, wonder who is making the Cup A Soup’s at Number 10 while Clegg is in Brighton?

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11.19 – They mention something on the local news about an accident on the A55 causing hold ups, I immediately call UKMail to check they know. Amanda’s Line Manager interrupts the call, he seems quite agitated. I agree to end the call and let them get on, I assure the Line Manager I’ll check in in half an hour or so, he says I don’t need to, I assure him I don’t mind.

11.49 – The Wife returns from doing the big shop, a bit embarrassing when she asks where The Child is, it appears she’s been in her room, I explain about the weather warnings and the accident on the A55, but I’m not sure The Wife can really hear over the crying. Vow to set ‘Reminders’ on my new Apple iPhone 5 with LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive touchscreen when I have The Child in future.

11.56 – Knock Knock!!! Surprised to see it’s just a standard van, but I suppose they’re probably trying to keep a low profile. Explain to the driver about the Apple iPhone 5’s 4g capability and enhanced 8 megapixel iSight camera. He asks me a couple of times to sign for it as he has to get on, I nip in to get a print out of a review I’d found on the Techradar website. When I return the driver’s just leaving, I assume he’s got to go back to pick up another Apple iPhone 5 with Corning Gorilla Glass, oleophobic coating for someone else, I allow myself a moment to reflect that they will be a pleb for a little longer than I, bet they wish they’d set their alarm earlier! The driver appears to signal to me that he’ll be back in two minutes, but he doesn’t return, possibly something to do with the A55.

11.57 – Struggle to tear through the cellophane as I’m all fingers and thumbs!

11.59 – Get a fresh Cup A Soup(Perhaps they go back in shifts? Brighton to London can’t take that long) and sit at the table where I’ve already prepared a space for installation. Take a deep breath and lift the lid.

12.08 – I feel like I’ve been staring at my new Apple iPhone 5 with simultaneous HD video and image recording, for 10 minutes, feel a little embarrassed, shy almost! It can’t judge me though! Can it? I check the guide, it can’t.

12.11 – Installation!!!

20120924-144741.jpg12.49 – Installation.

14.54 – Delighted to discover that my Apple iPhone 5  with voice memo, command and dial capability has a sleek new charger/USB. I had been slightly concerned that I wouldn’t be able to remember which charger was which, as I currently have two outdated iPhone chargers, a similarly old fashioned iPad charger, an erroneous iPod charger and a vintage iCharger all dotted around the house and work. I reflect on how it will be much easier now that I can carry my new charger with me rather than use these ancient leads.

15.07 – The Wife sees my streamlined new fitting and says that I only got the new Apple iPhone 5 with Dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, rather than the HTC she says I prefer because it would be easier as we already have compatible accessories, docks and spare chargers. I ask her to leave.

15.09 – Reflect that I should not rise to The Wife’s accusations. Besides she only has an decrepit iPhone 4S so is probably jealous.

16.23 – I turn off my new Apple iPhone 5 with 16m colour display and 326ppi pixel density , pause for a moment, just long enough to catch my breath and turn it on again. The Wife announces that it’s just the same as my old one, but I dismiss her again. It’s not the same anyway. My old one had a shattered screen for a start. Shaken, I comfort myself with the two Apple decals that Apple have generously included in the Apple iPhone 5’s box with sleak graphite lid, I vow not to be hasty and save them until I have carefully considered their application.

16.25 – My Apple iPhone 5 with Apple A6 chip springs in to life, my hands turn to jelly. Installation stage 2 of 5 complete!

16.26 – I realise that in all the excitement, I haven’t called Amanda back to tell her the driver got through. Have to call her back from the work Blackberry as there’s no reception on my Apple iPhone 5 with A-GPS support and GLONASS, reflect that I must check whether there’s an App for that.

iPhone 5 Day +1

08.14 – Spent the night backing up my old phone with Apple’s fabulous iCloud system, ready for my Apple iPhone 5 with PowerVR SGX 543MP3 (triple-core graphics) to finish installing.

11.16 – Less than 24 hours after I took delivery of my Apple iPhone 5 with nano-SIM card support and it’s already up and running, amazing! Managed to keep most of my contacts and everything… how do they do it!?!?!

11.17 – Get a lump in my throat as I receive my first Apple iPhone 5 with iMessage, push notification and email capability, text notification to say I have answer phone messages from when the signal was down. Reflect that HTC don’t offer this feature and vow to call the answer phone and retrieve the messages when signal returns again.

11.21 – Decide to drive into town to get a signal, in case the messages are important, it’s a lovely sunny day, reflect that if I had an HTC I’d probably just be sat on my sofa and wonder if this is why the plebs always look so pasty?

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Insert Title Here (Alternatively just write a load of nonsense about Dragons Den, Rick Astley and the S-Project)(No idea either, sorry)

Sooooo… Can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t find anything on Netflix(having watched all 19 titles they have)(fairly sure it is the only media service more backward than Llŷn Video, Pwllheli Cinema, “mother in law” mobile phones or Dorset), can’t be arsed going downstairs and getting climbed all over by The Wife’s cats, can’t stop reminiscing about Dre, can’t stop thinking about all the things Rick Astley assures me he absolutely will not, under any circumstance, do(Give me up, let me down, run around, desert me, make me cry, say goodbye, tell a lie… the list goes on), can’t think of a subject for a Soap Box Rant* and have now resorted to Googling “Blog Topics”. Rather marvellously this brought up a “Blog Topic Generator” which, I suspect got a rapturous review on Dragon’s Den.

Anyway, I’m going for it… quickfire stylee…

Keeping Rhythm
N/A, I have natural rhythm.

Most Loved Character In History
Summer Reed – Home and Away.

Art Jobs
Being the first tour guide at the Tate to have to justify Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” to a coach load of pensioners from Ipswich.

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“…and then in 2002, Nigella Lawson’s husband bought the piece for £150,000”

Pop vs. Hip hop
Pop, as a known mother flipping G, I don’t have to prove myself by sitting on the back of a bus playing plastic rap through my mobile’s speakers… and NKOTB’s Donnie Walhberg was clearly harder than Vanilla Ice anyway.

History Of Religion
War. Imaginary friends for the pre-Big Brother generations. Bigotry. (Easy)

Depictions Of Satan
‘Satan’ may be a little strong but, the look on Cristiano Ronaldo’s face when it suddenly dawned on him that his evil-genius plan to put himself down for the fifth shoot out penalty (Spain vs Portugal Euro 2012 Semi Final) so he could get the glory and stand chest out, pouting furiously at the crowd, as his adoring teammates ran to mob him as they defeated the favourites and cruised magnificently into the final was somewhat dependant on the shoot out going the distance and not, for instance, ending 4-2, when Alves and Moutinho missed. Perhaps not the classic depiction of Satan, but certainly my fondest.

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Heartbreaking.

Running
Overrated.

Matchstick Modelling
Useful way of determining when it’s officially time to call it[life] a day.

The Smallest Country In The World
Vatican? Home to the best piece of graffiti I have ever seen, on the toilet wall in the Vatican Gift Shop “Reverend Tim Burn From Toronto Was Here – 2010” (proving on so many levels that nothing is sacred). My faithful HTC lies dead, but safe, in a drawer purely because I hope that one day I will be able to rescue the photograph from it.

The S-Process
The recognised technique used by astronauts to reach for the stars, space etc?

Well, that killed an hour, it’s just brought up “Running” for a third time and it’s daylight now so I think I’ll call that job done.

As a final note, I’d just like to say ‘well done’ to Theo, Peter, dour Scottish chap and Deborah for believing in the “Random Blog Topic Generator 1.0” in the first place, investing in it and making some bloggy techno-geek a multi squillionaire and enabling him to pay z-list celebrities to parade around his Coventry mansion in the actual slave girl outfit Carrie Fisher wore in Return Of The Jedi.

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Supernanny – Money Well Spent.

* That’s not strictly true but…
“People that park in bus stops should be classed as ‘shootable'”, “If it’s ‘better than the leading brand’ why isn’t it the leading brand?”, “Highway Code For Range Rovers”, “A Modern Cookbook, which details exactly what you need to add to ‘Now with no added salt’ etc products to make them taste like they used to”, “Gwynedd Council: Schedule of planned roadworks July-September 2012 to cause maximum inconvenience to tourists on the Llŷn Peninsula”, “Our cat is on pills for stress, despite being a cat”… etc
…are in storage for an occasion when it’s less likely my head will explode mid rant.

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Vegetarianism: A Study.

In December 2010 I posted an open, thought provoking statement to Box fans, it read simply:

“Pol Pot, Genghis Kahn, Leona Lewis, Adolf Hitler, Jodie Marsh, Cain, Jesus Christ, Anthea Turner, Jim Jones, Courto from Courts, Chris Martin, Heather Mills, Joseph Goebbels, Bruce Forsyth(assumed), Armin Meiwers, Frankenstein’s Monster(Alan?), Hayden Panettiere, Sir Stafford Kripps, Christina Yang, Uri Geller… Discuss.”

What my public did not know was that this wasn’t quite the random cross section of society it might appear. It was indeed a ‘random cross section’ but it was selected completely randomly at random, from one particular group on the very fringe of society. A group so extreme and ludicrous that even Jim Carey refuses to confirm(or tellingly refute) claims he is a member.

My social experiment was a simple one, to gain a totally unbiased assessment of the group. I wanted to see whether, aside from some mildly genocidal, social awkwardness, does this sub-species share any other hidden characteristics or stigma common to the group? Was there an argument to establish cause, as well as the obvious effects, of the condition both for the individual and society as a whole? If so could this be diagnosed and treated before the affliction took hold? The quest was noble, the questions never ending(rather like this ‘quick’ introductory paragraph).

Physcologists and the socially astute among you may have already spotted the link(if not, the essay title is probably a reasonable clue), for the completely random selection of social misfits above, selected completely at random remember, all share one very dark, deeply sinister secret: They are all Plant Haters. Vegetablists. Members of a genus determined to cheat natural selection and evolution by existing on a diet of gratins, wild mushroom risotto(when eating out) and grass.

A Typical Vegetarian

A Typical Vegetarian

Society’s (by ‘society’, you could argue ‘my’) problem here is not some deep narcissistic loathing of the individuals themselves. Ironically, I am relatively open to the condition, I even have actual friends and family who follow this abhorrent lifestyle choice. Tellingly, one close friend(who as a result became even closer) was ordered to eat properly [meat] for health reasons following extensive medicalogical tests, which in my opinion could have been hastened(to the benefit of both patient and the tax payer) if test one followed my simple guidelines:

“Question 1. Do you eat properly? (If you answered ‘yes’ go to question 2.)
Question 2. No, seriously do you eat properly? (Soya, Quorn, nut roasts etc do not actually class as a food stuff so think carefully about your answer)…”

McCartney's Law Of Evil: Shows the spread of evil across civilised countries and America

McCartney's Law shows the spread of evil across civilised countries and America

 

Fairly Unnecessary Bit Of Background

Before I move on to my findings, and by way of bulking this investigation out even more, I thought it would be useful to reference the origins of the species. As you know, Homo Sapiens started to turn up around 140,000 bc, essentially out-evolutionering the other great apes and Neanderthal largely due to modern man’s considerably more advanced diet of steak, burgers and kebabs. The other homo sub species, apes and Neanderthal(who frankly was never going to win anything due to being German)(Don’t argue, Neander valley)(near Düsseldorf) continued valiantly trying to evolve on a largely garnish and dessert based diet. However, as the plastic shoed, three hugging do gooders should remember they eventually died out due to something to do with an inefficient energy releasing diet and Nile crocodiles eating them when they tried to cross rivers on their annual migration across the plains.

Very Official And Thoroughly Researched Science Element

So, what conclusions can we draw from the completely randomly selected group of random individuals compiled for our study? One fairly obvious statistic is the high occurrence of “Evil” within the group. With the exception of Subject 10: Court, all the other subjects tested score surprisingly high for some element of ‘Evil’ from ’10. Genocide’ down to ‘1. Lingering on TV despite clearly being senile(probably due to a lack of protein)’ on Hucknall’s Scale Of Evil.

The next logical step is to find a cause which could explain this high proportion, an obvious and easy one is that Vegetablists are, of course, always hungry. When the body needs food, it indicates this with what we scientists call “hunger”, however the body automatically sends out other signals when specific nutrients are required. One “Signal” is that subjects become angry, irrational and aggressive, as commonly exhibited by “Females” when deprived of essential nutrients present in “Chocolate”. Could this high presence of the AIA Signal explain high incidences of evil within vegetarian “culture”? It might, therefore I’ll base the rest of my study on this.

A high AIA level is the bodies natural way of prepping the brain to go and find food, essentially – to kill something. This would explain the highly combustible nature of the Vegetablists, it’s like a life permanently on cold turkey(pardon the pun). This theory has been demonstrated throughout history as early as Cain and Able, when the evil vegetarian Cain brutally satisfied his bloodlust by killing his own brother, the omnivorous Able. This example demonstrates what we shall call the “Cain ‘n’ Able Effect”, whereby the peace loving, enviromentalist omnivore hunts for “food”, the evil vegetarian hunts, born of frustration, purely for “recreation”.

Vegetarians: High AIA Levels

Vegetarians: High AIA Levels

As seen, high levels of “frustration” are a very dangerous factor in the mindset of the vegetarian, and as proven by my assumption that all vegetarians are hungry, so too are they permanently on edge, nervy and therefore “cross”. If we take nature as our example here, the most ‘evil’ animal in Africa is of course the vegetarian Hippopotamus, who, frustrated at having to spend it’s time constantly grazing on it’s low protein, low nutrient, low “food” vegetarian diet also has to watch the peace loving big cats lounge around under trees all day. Needless to say this leads to high levels of frustration, high AIA levels and high incidences of “recreational” attacks on animals and humans alike.

A Peace Loving African Suffers An Unprovoked Hippopotamus Attack.

A Peace Loving African Suffers An Unprovoked Hippopotamus Attack.

There is one final contributing anthropological factor, which our study serves to confirm, with the exception of Subject 16: Alan (Frankenstein’s Monster). Anthropologists have long suggested that vegetarian tribes going back to BC times were shorter than the tall, vibrant, elegant omnivorous tribes and with shortness comes, as you know, aggression. An aggression which is once again born of frustration.

Final And Not At All Rushed(In No Way Because I’ve Bored Myself Now) Conclusion

So, in conclusion it would appear that whilst not all vegetarians are evil(vegetables may disagree), it is an absolutely unquestionable fact, that all the ‘evil’ in the world, from genocide to singing too loud then too quiet is perpetrated by the vegetarians.

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The Omnivoure Society: Promoting understanding through a more efficient energy release type thing

The Omnivoure Society: Promoting understanding through a more efficient energy release type thing

*Nb: No reference has been made to vegans, fruitarians or self diagnosed food allergy-ees for the sake of my sanity.
**Nb2: …oh and no actual research was done in compiling this study and as such any offence caused is fairly accidental, not that you’d have the energy to raise much more than a emaciated grunt anyway.

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The A***** W*** Fan Club Memorial Thing

Back when Facebook was fun, before they made it all tricky and difficult for non-yoof types to negotiate, I set up a group called “Briiliant Sentences” to celebrate my love for… well… brilliant sentences. I seem to remember it followed a particularly fabulous appearance by a particularly bad radio agony aunt type on Jeremy Vine, who dished out three pieces of particularly appalling advice which I (I particularly remember this bit) confidently declared were the three most ‘brilliant sentences I’d ever heard’ (the one I remember was something along the lines of “Only 60% of women who say ‘No’ actually mean ‘No'” – from a female ‘expert’ remember, and on national radio).
So thrilled was I, so brilliantly ridiculous were these comments, that I set up the group in order that I could refer back to them at any time, celebrate them and compare, record and rate future pretenders.

‎”Its proven that people in british society have a much larger area of personal space when compared to other european countries, and so I don’t feel bad when I say the man virtually sitting on my knee on the bus is really pissing me off.” A***** W***, 2010

Sounds weird I know, but in time it became somewhat popular, not a vast number of members but all enthusiastic contributors and generally with a similar approach to what made a truly stand out quote. I remember The Bar Manager and Pumpkin(“Actually David Beckham IS fit, he’s a sexy beast… and Johnny Depp” demonstrating the fine line between being ‘in touch with your sexuality’ and… well… coming out) having their own sub-pages, due to the frequency which they came up on the wall necessitating it(“Please stop hitting the dog with our baby” whilst technically said quietly, despairingly TO The Bar Manager, was still my favourite on his ‘sub-page’), however the stand out referencee, the most brilliant of all was the legendary A***** W***. So brilliant were her statii and quotes that the group was officially renamed “The A***** W*** Statii Fanclub”.
At this stage I should perhaps explain that A***** W*** is not her actual name, and that A*****’s actual name will not feature as a final ‘thank you for the memories’. For, at the height of her powers A***** dropped the bombshell that she needed me to remove her actual name from all posts in(and out of) the group.

“With heat like this, its hard not to shed a tear for the individuals with fuller figures.” A***** W***, 2010

A***** was in fact Nurse W*** by day(I doubt very much she was ever allowed to work nights) and what Aneurin Bevan failed to mention when setting up the NHS was that comedy gold, social critique and a borderline obsession with the obscure is apparently unacceptable from it’s staff. I concede that if A***** was actually performing a complex medical procedure, wrist deep on the operating table or mid way through informing an orphan that they’re an orphan then updating her Facebook status, no matter how brilliantly, is probably not really appropriate, but on the whole how did it affect the NHS?

“If I pull some of my hair out, then I could weave it into a fairly strong fibre, which I could then knot to make a noose. Taking the other end, I could stand on my chair and attach it to the vent just above, placing my neck in the noose I could kick my chair away and end this NHS conference once and for all….. I will start with my fringe.” A***** W***, 2010

So what the hell has this got to do with anything? Well, fast forward two years and the feeling still remains, like the ember that feeds the flame(without our leader the group quickly died)(not that it excuses a random Kylie quote)(Dangerous Game)(…but you already knew that) and every time I overhear something ‘brilliant’ the pain intensifies. Take today for example, stood in a well known high street shop by the changing room door and “…well I got it to flush eventually, but I thought I was gonna have to get the potato masher on it”, phenomenal. Rarely have I been so grateful to have missed the beginning of a sentence(not that rare in fairness, two weeks ago outside Talafon “…and apparently if you’re into riding goats it’s the best place to go”), but how to share? How to rate and celebrate?

“Anybody near a computer fancy telling me where my placement is. If its good news (something like neuro surgery or the morgue) then I shall buy u a drink for doing my dirty work” A***** W***, 2010 (I love that the morgue is considered as cool as brain surgery)

Well luckily I have a blog (can you see where I’m going with this?) and having just discovered that my actual wife has just been on the BBC’s blog to complain about the change in format of Waybuloo(seriously), I know that you can add comments and such to blogs(At this stage perhaps we could all spare a moment to consider Vanessa Hill and the other Waybuloo producers at tomorrow morning’s emergency meeting to discuss the public outcry at the appointment of the chap from Come Dine With Me as commentator)(which overshadowed the inclusion of an extra cheebie, a monumentally foolhardy addition considering yogo already looked unbalanced with 4 piplings and 5 amateur dramatic trained, pushy parented, child thespians) and so I’m going to turn this blog into a memorial page to the great A***** W***, feel free to submit, rate, celebrate or berate(admittedly I’ll need to investigate the inner workings of WordPress here, but it seems fairly straightforward and I do have access to my own yoof, who at 8 months old should be more than capable of setting up a forum, or whatever they’re called, on here…
Balooo x

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Here’s a little taster of the brilliant, inane, bizarre and insane world of my associates, to kick off while I scratch my head and try to understand how to set this up…

(Discussing the London riots spreading North) “…they should build a wall like the one they built round Germany after the war to make Liverpool an island” The Bar Manager, 2011

‎”Star Trek is brilliant because it’s true. Not now, but it will be” The Bar Manager, 2010

“oh… I’ve just mistaken an older woman for Josh Boyd” Nant, 2012

“True friendship is being able to text someone to tell them you’ve seen a ginger dwarf, safe in the knowledge you won’t be judged” (for the record the immediate response was “He’s probably gay as well”) MB, 2011

“I’d been really romantic all holiday, I’d even fixed the fusebox.” Jeff Owen, 2012

“Altrincham used to be considered posh, but then McDonalds closed” The Sun, 2011

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MB’ Yule Blog

This is not a standard anti Christmas, “bah humbug” rant about faith versus popular culture, or the commercialising of what is essentially a birthday celebration for everybody’s favourite imaginary friend. This, my brilliantly titled(which, as will become painfully clear is all I have at this stage) “Yule Blog”, is a heartfelt appeal to remember the often forgotten extra in the Christmas story – Joseph.

Joseph of Nazareth

The Christmas story as taught in primary schools etc(although significantly, not in any ‘History’ syllabus I know of) told of Mary claiming that the angel Gabriel came to her and told her that “God was very pleased with her and was going to ‘bless’ her with a child”, before having a baby boy. Now then, let’s just for the purpose of this report, ignore the fact that that sounds remarkably like ‘grooming’ and instead look at this from the point of view of Mary’s long suffering, ever supportive yet surely despairing boyfriend Joseph.

Joe Nazareth was a joiner, an ‘extra’ in every sense in this story, who despite doing the decent thing, supporting and marrying his delusional, wayward, cheating girlfriend wasn’t even credited with existing until the later gospels of Matthew and Luke. The guy must have seen or heard the gossip and finger wagging, he ignored the way the locals were sarcastically calling his fiancé “Virgin” Mary as she waddled around carrying his stepson, even managing to get them decent digs(by the standards of the day) in Bethlehem during the busy tourist season. Like Alfie Moon, he was blinded by love, misguided loyalty and a naive belief that he could change his wandering sweetheart. Alas, like Moon he remains at best a footnote, an ‘also ran’ in the story of Christ’s rise to power. He may, with decent representation be able to blag his way into “The Jungle” or at a push Strictly, by clinging on to the ‘Jesus’s Stepdad’ moniker. But he’d surely know in his heart that he’d be the one Strictly widows would ask their engrossed spouse’s “Who’s he then?”, the male equivalent of whichever well meaning, z-lister they’ve wheeled out to partner Anton. Harmless, forgettable chaff.

St Denis

So what of Joseph the man? His building career appears to have ground to a halt after his ill fated marriage and the birth of Christ(didn’t even keep his surname), and whilst it is unclear from the gospels it is likely that the legacy of “Virgin” Mary would not have helped him get work(word of mouth was, as is still the case, the most powerful form of advertising and works both ways). He doesn’t really get a mention in JC’s story when his stepson begins growing up and is increasingly a periphery figure in the bible. Like Denis Thatcher after The Iron Lady ‘retired’, wandering aimlessly trying to find or define a role for himself as he and even Mary were left in the wake of their son’s new found celebrity.

The difference here was that, whilst his wife could always fall back on the “Mary, Mother Of God” title (let’s be honest, I doubt she had to queue to get into the swanky bars and nightclubs of Galilee) Joseph had no such sway. “Husband Of The Mother Of God, Although Technically Not The Father Of God” would only serve to remind bouncers, restaurant managers etc that he was a doormat, hardly commanding respect or adoration. Indeed Joseph would have to wait until after his death for any real acknowledgement, and even then St. Joseph (Patron Saint of travellers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers and workers in general) didn’t exactly get a glamourous gig.

So here is my proposal. As we all open our presents and tuck in to our Americanised Christmas feast, let us remember St Joseph, as we will one day remember St Denis (Patron Saint of maintaining your dignity despite being the only bloke in the spouse section at cold war summits) because aside from the fact that March 19th(falling two short, hungover days after the ‘religious’ significance of St Patrick’s Day) is not exactly a classic date for remembrance, I think it would be far more appropriate to remember St Joseph on the anniversary of his finest and defining hour. When he ignored the smirking innkeeper and judgemental gaze of the Bethlehem on-call midwifery team and stood by his childhood sweetheart, as she had someone else’s child.

Alfie Moon, you have been warned.

Alfie Of Walford and The Virgin Kat

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The Short (Hopefully) Ramble, Because The Child Has Me Pinned Bolt Upright In Bed Blog

Marathon Box on FacebookSo… errrr… It seems the blog has already come full circle, or at least it’s completed it’s first lap.

6 months ago I was tapping away at this same iPhone (not strictly true as that was three handsets ago- 1x meltdown, 1x slight soup incident, 1x unfortunately placed bucket of water) in the dead of night, as I waited for ‘Words’ opponents to crack on, when The Wife decided we’d have The Child.

Now The Child has me wedged bolt upright on/off the side of the bed, having ‘explained’ to us at some length that, while she isn’t one to make a fuss, she appears to have a selection of tooths growing through her gums which are presenting her with some level of discomfort and she’d really appreciate it if we, The Parents, would kindly make it desist(obviously I’m paraphrasing a little). Now, The Child sleeps and The Wife has been dispatched to the East Wing to do likewise and here I am…

Facebook’s out of the question, I’ve just sent Biggles the longest and most random message in the world, only to realise it was actually a wall post(which scarily, even with the new ‘random’ settings imposed on everyone’s Newsfeeds, will be there for everyone to see and mock in the morning)(Take note Little Joshie, ‘Real’ Facebookers don’t delete), so I am removing myself from that particular time wasting arena before any more damage is done to my fragile Newsfeed Cred and am left with the age old question(May 10 to be precise), too blog or not to blog?

Having recently tried to introduce some form of order into proceedings on here, (by doing an index page you understand, not by reporting on useful subjects, although I’m still hopeful ‘Letts’ will use my Henry VIII essay in future revision guides) it seems appropriate and safer all round(I discovered a half finished rant about the link between Vegetarianists and Nazis on my phone last week) if I just stick to a brief(the previous three paragraphs would suggest otherwise)sit rep(Biggles will like that) of The Soap Box so far.

Obviously, I know how educational and thought provoking you will be finding my musings and this is, of course my main goal. For I was born to serve and whilst I provide this service freely for my public, I have recently found the greatest payment possible within WordPress’s own workings. It would appear I’m not actually that weird. Possibly a little quirky, but definitely NOT weird.

I make this bold boast having discovered the ‘Top Search Referrals” section* of the Soap Box’s inner sanctum, basically it shows what people have typed into Google to end up reading the essays. All this is fairly obvious, run of the mill (Marathon Soap Box, Marathon Box Soap, Marathon Bucket List… etc) boring stuff until you start scrolling down into the lower listings and then… well, there’s some odd balls out there.

In the last seven days for instance, someone is clearly investigating the Hugo Boss and/or the Third Reich(‘or’ was my immediate thought, which is a bit odd and would suggest a lucky dip approach from Google), someone has searched so thoroughly for ‘Peggy Blackett’ that on page 3 million of Google’s results they’ve ended up on here (probably left a better person though to be fair) and importantly three people have questioned whether Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Louisa Glasson are indeed related.
I say importantly because I am now delighted to say I have a final and definitive answer: No.

Back in the day somewhere around series 3, when I cunningly tricked Pumpkin into his Glasson Obsession Confession(would have been a brilliant headline if Doyle was actually famous enough to warrant one)(may have just stumbled on what to do with this ridiculous Twitter account I appear to have though, because, and this will shock you, aside from being baffled by all the symbols I have been a little concerned about how I’d fare sticking to 140 characters), I wasn’t asking the question because I thought there was any vague chance they were, it was just a bit of throwaway comedy gold.

Worryingly though, there are people out there who are clearly so socially bewildered that they are using the Internet to conduct this sort of research. It certainly aids my argument for Sky to introduce a ‘Jeremy Kyle Channel’ showing repeats 24 hours a day to keep these muppets off the streets and out of harms, and specifically our, way. I concede that there is a chance it’s people who had already read “Louisa Glasson – The Musical” and couldn’t remember the name, but surely they’d have searched ‘Marathon Box’ etc. I refuse however to concede there’s any chance it’s people who’ve read the blog and are seeking clarification on Catz-Van Nistelrooy’s respective upbringings, because that would lead me to the conclusion that you, my students, have been infiltrated by dim witted morons.

So, anyway (bear with me a second, LOUISA GLASSON CAROLINE CATZ RUUD VAN NISTELROOY RELATED SIBLINGS DOC MARTIN, hopefully that’s got the Googler’s attention), Caroline Catz is definitely NOT related to Ruud Van Nistelrooy, I know this because I have just discovered she’s my faithful family doctor’s actual daughter(Won’t give his or her real name, in case Doc Martin groupies start besieging his surgery, mostly because I’m not heading that way for a while and want my box sets signing, so I’m worried he’d get tired of the Martinettes and block my ‘in’), and there it is.
Googlists, you are welcome and Larry Page, I look forward to my first royalty cheque from ‘Google Answers’.

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*Alongside the popular Tudor related ‘referals’ I get a surprising amount looking for “Militant Vegetarian”, which aside from worrying me that I may get flagged in some CIA anti terror sting, is always brilliant for the mental image of a plastic shoed, eco warrior, vegetablist being so incensed by the cruelty they just witnessed on Ready Steady Cook that they slammed down The Guardian and got straight on the internetwork.

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Louisa Glasson – The Musical (and other guilty pleasures)

“You know that Louisa Glasson?”

“I know mate, guilty pleasure or what!”

“Errr… no… I was wondering if she was related to Ruud Van Nistelrooy?”

“Oh… not sure… ha… errr, you know I was joking right?!”

I’m yet to clarify whether friend of the blog Caroline Catz(Glasson) and Ruud Van Nistelrooy(Van Nistelrooy) are related or not, but Doyle’s admission that fateful afternoon has stuck with me ever since. To this day I’ve been unable to get him to expand (Character or actress? Either way I’m a little confused) but it does make me wonder what other guilty gems he’s hiding from us all. And then, yesterday afternoon, I got caught out in our office. I was meant to be catching up on some paperwork, but instead I was crouched over the internet and did not notice The Wife sneaking up on me(admittedly bringing me a brew, but nevertheless if you don’t knock it’s not my fault if you see things you don’t want to see).

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!” she exclaimed, horrified.

Obviously I panicked and desperately began trying to close tabs and hide my dirty little secret

“Errrrr, nothing, just work… I’m working!”

It was fairly obvious the game was up. She had caught me. I had to confess. Slowly, reluctantly I clicked on a tab and opened the Youtube window still blasting out Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s excellent version of “Time To Say Goodbye”.

“It’s just a bit of opera love, I’m sorry”

After the shock of it all, I felt quite liberated, and having come out to her I even allowed myself to crank up the volume a little and let myself go with a bit of Blood Brothers (Barbara Dickson, obviously) and Hayley Westernra’s haunting version of ‘Wuthering Heights’ by the equally phenominal Kate Bush.

Pumpkin - Don't call him pretty

It is in this spirit of freedom and guiltless liberation that I stand proud and shout from the rooftops (or more accurately type on an iPhone) that “Yes!!! I am a closet birder”, “Yes!!! I sing along(phenomenally) to Phantom” and “Yes!!! As die hard a City fan as I am, I missed the whole Tevez non-substitution contraversy because I’d snuggled up on the sofa to watch Doc Martin”. Not because of any weird fascination with Catz I hasten to add. Going back to Glassongate, I should point out that Doyle is a… how do you put this… ‘polished’ sort of gentlemen, the sort of chap who(like myself) the ladies could happilly chew the arm off, indeed the sort of fellow who once remarked to me “God, I hate it when girls say how pretty I am” (with real pain and certainly no hint of irony or comedy in his tone), in short, not the sort of guy I would have expected to have guilty urges for Louisa Glasson. Anyway, in a desperate attempt to move on and in the spirit of out and proud, closet smashing, deliciousness here are my…

“Top Ten Secret YouTube Delights (Popular and Classical/Musical) For When The Wife Is Out”

(and as a servant of the people I’ve even linked them, I know, you don’t deserve me)

Musicals, Opera And That

Barbara Dickson – Tell Me It’s Not True (Educate Yourself)
Madonna – Another Suitcase In Another Hall (Forgive Her For The Baby Stealing And The One In a Limo With Ali G)
Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman – Time To Say Goodbye (This Woman Was Married To Andrew Lloyd Webber)
Michael Crawford & Sarah Brightman – Music Of The Night (Frank Spencer)
Ruthie Henshall – Maybe This Time (Picture Your Favourite Pub Drunk And… Listen)
Beyonce Knowles – Listen (Mrs Z – But Good)
Ruthie Henshall – As Long As He Needs Me (Nancy, Bizarrely My First Crush)
Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream (Josh Boyd Does Les Miserablés)
M – Send In The Clowns (Dame Good)
Marti Webb – Take That Look Off Your Face (I Can See Through Your Smile)

Bonus: Hayley Westernra – Wuthering Heights (Bit Tenuous Putting It In This Section, But Brilliant)

Pop, Ballads And General Stuff The Bar Manager Will Shout At Me For*

Heart – Alone (Chills Me To The Bone)
A Ha – Sun Always Shines On TV (First Tape Bought)
Leann Rimes – Can’t Fight The Moonlight (Piper Perabo For Those Gents Who Are Trying To Remember)
B*Witched – C’est La Vie (Lindsay Armaou, Again For The Gents)
Cleopatra – Cleopatra’s Theme (Seen Them Live)
Kriss Kross – Jump (#2 Worst Songs To Get Caught Singing Along To By Customers)
Westlife – Flying Without Wings (…Wait For The Keychange)
Aqua – Turn Back Time (Sliding Doors, When The World Realised Just How Annoying Paltrow Is)
Joey Scarbury – Believe It Or Not (Greatest American Hero?)
Avril Lavigne – I’m With You (Greatest Canadian Hero?)

Bonus: The Calling – Wherever You Go (Had To Take This Off My List After The Bar Manager Put It On The Jukebox And Half The Pub Sang Along, Clearly Relatively Guiltfree)

* Actually, how much ridicule and smirking can you take about your ‘shockingly commercial taste in “music”‘ (deliberate double ” ” by the way, as Timmy, in particular, and The Bar Manager feel it necessary to do the finger “‘s whenever my taste in “music” is mentioned), from someone who tries to hide his love of Glee behind his NME subscription?! I know the day will come when I’ll grow tired of the memory of The Bar Managers query “Do you Glee?”, but for the moment it remains, my one true entirely guiltless “pleasure”.

OMG I Totally Can

Next Week: In the spirit of coming out and re-educating the NME snobs, I shall discuss why everyone should have seen(or ideally own) Coyote Ugly.

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Football, Booze and Birds – The Confession Of A Closet Birdwatcher

Little Egret - Place in Abersoch. Hippo - Unconfirmed.

Little Egret - Place in Abersoch. Hippo - Unconfirmed.

Some years ago I made a throw away comment to a birdwatcher that the Little Egret (I now think there was a pair) was in Abersoch harbour and they might like to go and have a look at this unusual visitor. The reaction was unexpected, pitying and very annoying – I was clearly wrong. I must have seen a swan or some such creature as the Little Egret is a continental species. It’s a fair point, Little Egrets are not meant to knock around North Wales, or the UK generally, they prefer a warmer climate but with global warming they’re now a regular sight(apparently they’re all over the Menai Strait). At the time however, they were a pretty unusual visitor, hence I had thought it might be an interesting tip off.

Birders - Not massively hip, young or dudelike.

The argument here is that I, as a ‘closet’ birder, had to bow to the inferior knowledge of the person in question, essentially because they were a fully paid up binocular owning, RSPB card carrying, out and proud birdwatcher. Simply because society deems it unacceptable for a hip, young dude to be a birder means I must have been wrong.

Fair enough, I don’t own a mac (the bar manager would disagree there), have a beard or walk around in hiking boots and socks with a flask of cold tea, but I do have many books for reference(including a ‘pocket’ guide in the glovebox of the car) and a healthy fascination for our feathered friends. I’ve always displayed the books fairly openly at home. Growing up I even had tapes of birdsong, but found this a bit too weird and couldn’t grasp the complexities in rhythm and style, rather like my issues with most music now (the bar manager would definitely agree there). Unfortunately, it was not an accepted activity with my peer group and so it became my dirty little secret and has remained so, subconsciously, ever since. For years I envied our cats in this sense, it’s more acceptable in their circle and they openly “bird” through the window, excitedly chattering and clicking away about their sightings (admittedly they then ruin it by catching the particularly interesting specimens and promptly disembowelling them on my carpet, presumably for reference).

Anyway, two weeks ago I was in a pub, when (bizarrely to be fair) the conversation turned to the rather twee watercolours of British birds on the walls:

Wagtail - Rubbish Magpie.

“…that’s the worst magpie I’ve ever seen!”
“It’s a pied wagtail”
“…oh… well that woodpecker’s no better”
“It’s a Jay”
“…riiiiiiight… so that’s a thrush?”
“Wren”
“Oh my god, are you a twitcher?!”

I admitted it, although I’m not really a twitcher, I have no intention of growing a beard for a start(although yesterday, the 13th, having not shaved for two days The Wife did ask me if I was doing ‘Movember’ – insinuating that my two day growth could be two weeks worth, so I may do now just to prove I can)(Apart from on the perfectly circular bit on my chin where I burnt it, obviously), but I do like birds. They’re fascinating little things and I’m no longer going to live a lie, I like birds. And so, as someone who likes birds, on the way to work the following morning I happily stopped to take a quick photo of a rather splendid little chap doing a spot of fishing in the harbour.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) - Or possibly just a mutant dwarf swan/heron thing.

 
 
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 Do not despair though Box Fans, if asked what my favourite bird is, I’d still say Isla Fisher…

Birdwatching - Rewarding

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When is a cash machine not a cash machine?

Q: When is a cash machine not a cash machine?

A: When it’s worked once in the past 7 and a half f**kin’ months.

The Don of Abersoch with the old machine.

When Midland closed it’s doors due to lack of business last year, it threatened to take with it the only cash machine in the village. Understandibly, there was widespread hysteria, with some local residents and business people even going so far as to say that maybe someone should probably do something about it. It’s probably worth pointing out that the ATM in question was, as reported in the Caernarfon Herald, ‘the busiest in the County’ and alledgedly one of the busiest in the country during the summer months.

Something beautifully ironic about a shop on the site of a underused bank selling pyjama bottoms for £60.

After months of deliberation and red tape (brilliantly, residents complained about it’s new location, about 2 metres to the left of the old one, which is now a Jack Wills shop for idiots, something which is surely more worthy of protest) a self contained, tardis type affair landed there and we, as a local economy reliant on tourist pounds, were saved! Hoorah!!!

Unfortunately, that was about 10 months ago and the fancy new one has been filled up twice since then. I conceed that it is possible that that might be a slight exaggeration, but the old one used to get filled up two or three times a day during busy periods and this one appears to be done only marginally more regularly than the one in the Vaynol. This brings me nicely to the inconvenient truth about this rant. I am only too delighted to whinge about it in the Vaynol every night, (I think there’s probably a little part of me that hopes my old foe will flash the red screen of death at me) but have I(or anyone else) ever done anything about it? Surely there must be a phone number, e-mail address or something displayed on the side of the converted public convenience to contact the bank to tell them that, shock horror, it’s empty and has therefore gone into meltdown again.

Anyway, although, I find it very hard to believe that a little red light doesn’t flash somewhere on a massive map on a wall of the command centre in HSBC HQ, probably being watched by men in white coats with beards and clip boards(I accept there is a chance it may not be quite so cold war, but you get the point), I doubt it’s really our responsibility to call Douglas Flint (HSBC gaffer) ourselves.

"Alan, that light's on again in Abersoch, we better alert... oooh give us a biscuit"

The bizarre thing is, in the past 10 days, I’ve passed the little blue van twice when they’ve been filling it up although in that time I’m yet to see anything other than the red death screen. This leads me to the conclusion that Securicor(or whoever HSBC use to ‘maintain’ their machines) are now recruiting from the same agencies which provide staff to ‘maintain’ public toilets. Or more specifically, recruiting from the same agencies who provide staff to go and sign the sheet on the wall of flooded, dirty, stinking gentlemen’s conveniences before walking straight back out again for another unscheduled fag break.

Anyway, as a champion of the people I have now had enough, it’s time to take action. We as consumers should not have to put up with this pathethic, shoddy service while the banking system and City fat cats, fuelled by our taxes, sit in their platinum plated offices and ignore the beardy map minders and their little flashy red lights. I shall take the fight to them. We, the people, must make a stand. This is a time for action and so I have done it. I have set up a mildly sarcastic Facebook Group entitled “If 1,000 People Join This Group HSBC Mght Consider Filling The Abersoch Cash Machine’“, that’ll show the bastards!

Viva La Revolucion!

They may take our branch, but they wll never take... OUR FREEDOM.

 
The Picturesque Mynytho Stores, home of the Gene Genie

The Picturesque Mynytho Stores, where cashback is always available

As a bit of light relief after seconds considering sticking it to the man, spare a thought for the Gene Genie CEO of Mynytho Stores Plc, for with no cash in circulation how will Gene continue to provide the excellent level of customer service for which he is renowned? Alternatively just go in there, fill a basket with a load of random stuff, (preferably without prices so the big man has to wheeze his way around the aisle looking for it) wait until he’s tilled everything in and then produce your flexible friend and ask about cashback. The pandemonium which will ensue will get you no closer to any money cash, for this is a local shop with local ways, but it is funny as f… !!!

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