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’.

20111122-061616.jpg

*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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The Box List – Things To Do Before You Give Up And Start Wearing Biege

Bucket List (buck-et list)

1. A list of things to do before you die. Origin the early 21st century phrase “kicked the bucket”.   2. A shocking 2007 film starring Morgan Freeman(Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Baby) and Jack Nicholson(Easy Rider, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), where two terminally ill old dudes do a load of stuff and a load of money is wasted on unnecessary and unconvincing computer graphics rather than (ironically) actually flying the actors to the locations.

Well, as the great Dolores O’Riordon sang… if everybody else is doing it, why can’t I? (Alright, strictly speaking it was the album title)

1. Create a non existent medical complaint and visit Doc Martin.
2. Visit the ‘Seven Wonders’ largely to prove Karl Pilkington is a visionary.
3. Grow some and go to the dentist.
4. Go on a road trip somewhere further than Pwllheli.
5. Visit Bhutan – to explain to them that a nation in the Himalayas landlocked between India and Chinese-occupied Tibet has no right being ‘one of the happiest nations in the world'(unless it’s relative to the neighbours, which I didn’t consider. Damn).
6. Reform the boyband for one last crack at the big time.
7. Market my own version of yoga – promoting the 7 key positions to lie on a sofa for long periods without having to “get comfortable” 3 times an hour.
8. Drive a plane (As I can’t drive a car it would probably be an idea to move this one to the end).
9. Live for a week by the gospel according to The Daily Mail.
10. Experience life for one day with normal hair
11. Attend one of the dinner parties at the end of every Jamie Oliver program ever made and leave 10 minutes in muttering “What bunch of t*****s”.

Glasson - Meddlesome

12. Follow Louisa Glasson around for one day saying “Hold on Miss Glasson, before you speak, ask yourself ‘Is this really any of my business?'”.
13. Travel back in time to sixth form to tell Mr Cleland “Sir, you said I’d not achieve anything, but I’ve just travelled through time what have you done? Other than look like a grey haired Mr Bean?”
14. Use the same time machine to travel back to the Stamford Arms, the day after my 18th and ask John to explain the logic in ‘retrospectively’ refusing to serve me for under age drinking.
15. Write my memoirs (specifically ‘memoirs’ not biography or book, essentially just so I can wear a smoking jacket).
16. Remake Waterworld
17. Learn sign language, then hang around train stations being one of those mental blokes who has really significant conversations with himself, but signing.
18. Do a medium sized DIY project without saying “Righty tighty, lefty loosey” at any stage.
19. Meet James Blunt and ask “Can I have your autograph Mr Button”.
20. Buy a house on Homes Under The Hammer and during the interview say you bought it because “I needed to get rid of some cash, pronto… shit, can you hear sirens?”
21. Get a random blokes name tattoo’d on your arm and when asked who Alan is, just look wistfully into the middle distance.
22. Take something which has already been invented on to Dragons Den and swear blind it doesn’t exist yet (such as a coat hanger).
23. Visit every cafe, tea room etc in Bournemouth demanding “We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now.”
24. Wait until someone in Japan has folded 999 paper cranes and then offer them the wishbone from your chicken dinner.
25. Spend a week referring to yourself as “We” instead of “I”.
26. Ride a gondola and literally “rock the boat”.
27. Ask a German to teach you German because “Your lot are bound to have another crack”.
28. Learn to play the recorder (on a busy train).
29. Spend a day busking, by badly miming to Daniel O’Donnell.
30. Go into a ‘serious’ music shop and ask where their Il Divo section is.
31. Wear armbands at a swimming pool, aged 32.
32. Sit in a wheelchair, with both arms and legs in plaster, at the top of a bungee jump telling people to “try it, it’s immense!”.
33.Run into an Esperanto class and ask breathlessly “Am I in time?”.
34. Ride the Metrolink from Altrincham to Bury with an enormous rucksack, telling other passengers that you are “travelling the top ten train rides in the world and after this I’ve only got the St Bernina Express to do”.
35. Prove once and for all whether you can milk a duck.
36. Sell Arsene Wenger a 29 year old British player.
37. Spend a day as the researcher who has to stop fat people in the street to ask if they’ll answer some questions on camera about being fat.
38. Wander around Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia, with hard hat and clipboard, randomly measuring stuff and telling people your doing a quote to finish it.

Mecca Bingo, Stafford NOT Mecca, Hijaz.

39. Stand outside a Mecca Bingo in full ihram staring furiously at a TomTom satnav.
40. Be the designated driver at Oktoberfest
41. Sit in a busy pub during the Manchester derby, knitting.
42. Do a serial killer wall collage in the front room about a friend, badly cover it with a sheet and then invite them round for a brew, at no point acknowledging it’s there.
43. Try and remember where we left Pip’s hubcap when we kidnapped it (allegedly).
44. Employ a more personal take on Danny Wallace’s ‘Yes Man’ strategy to life, by answering “No” to every question for a month.
45. Dress as a vicar and attend lectures on Darwin’s theories, with your fingers in your ears, shouting “La La, La La, I can’t hear you, La La…”.
46. Put a massive bodykit on a Nissan Micra.
47. Attend a random wedding and spend the day telling the groom’s family and friends “I don’t know why she invited me to be honest, I’m her first husband but she didn’t invite me to the other weddings… and how come none of the kids are here?”.
48. Stand outside Claires Accessories for a day, flashing a Social Services ID and sternly saying “Not today Missy” every time a scally brings their 1 year old in for ear piercing.
49. Stick a random wax crayon drawing on the fridge with “To Daddy” on it and casually tell visitors that your son ‘Eduardo’ posted it to you from Peru.
50. Spend an evening in the pub with a clipboard, loudly rating all the men that come in on ‘Looks, Cleanliness and Convertability’.
51. Stand and start a slow clap wiping away a fake tear whenever someone says something completely irrelevant in the pub.
52. Make a ‘Lost Pet’ sign with a picture of a large Bengal tiger on it and post them on every lamp post within a 2 mile radius of your house.
53. Walk around complimenting strangers shoes for a day.
54. Eat spaghetti in a restaurant (with you fingers).
55. Streak a Crown Green Bowls tournament.
56. Tell an Australian that you’ve visited all six continents, and when challenged say “No Sir, I think you’ll find you are a country, invented by us, and not a continent. Grow up.”

"Johnny Foriegner"

57. Refer to anyone with a vaguely regional accent as “Johnny Foriegner”.
58. Break into a locker at a swimming baths and replace the clothes with exactly the same outfit, exactly two sizes smaller.
59. Wake up hungover to discover you’ve bought a car on eBay.
60. Blag your way on to a TV news programme as an ‘expert’ on a subject you know nothing about.
61. Get an exact portrait of yourself in Elizabethan costume and hang it above the fireplace. Casually tell visitors it’s “Prince Phillip of Spain, an old family relative or something”.
62. Take a group of Americans on a completely made up “tour” of Milton Keynes, “… and the building on your left is where Bonnie Prince Charlie gave the famous ‘…father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife.’ speech.
63. Teach a foreigner English, but substitute random words for filth.
64. End every sentence with “in accordance with the prophecy” for a day.
65. Phone vague acquaintances and ask for their full names because “you’re updating your will”.
66. Spend a day in July in a handmade Rudolph jumper, excitedly telling passers by “only 147 days to go”.
67. Invite a Jehovah’s witness in to yoir house with a wink and a flirty “for having such pretty eyes”.
68. Fill your house with kitten ornaments, kitten pictures, kitten magazines, wear a kitten jumper and when mates come round talk to and stroke imaginary kittens.
69. Get yourself ‘Escort’ flyers printed, give them to friends and say you’re looking for a career change if they’re interested.
70. Get a 9 foot black and white photo portrait done (soft focus, lying naked on the beach, tide lapping you ankles etc) and hang it in the front room in view of the street.
71. Swap the furniture over in two rooms while the wife is out and then look ‘concerned’ when she asks what you’ve done “Come on love, you just need a little sit down and a rest, I’ll make you a nice cup of tea”.
72. Stand with a complete stranger at the bar and shout “Jaegarbombs for everyone, on us”, then leave.
73. Turn up in the pub dressed as PC Lovetruncheon, carrying a stereo and squirty cream and tell your mates you’ve been “working” at a pub down the road.
74. Have a swordfight to defend The Wife’s honour.
75. Spend a day saying “OMG! I like totally knew you were going to say that!” every time your friends speak.
76. Run into Pets At Home dressed as a Druid and release all the hamsters shouting “Fly my prettys”.
77. Sneak onto the final stages of the London marathon, dressed as Mr Blobby and beat the ‘winner’ on a sprint finish.
78. Grow a full beard and when your mates mention it, tell them you overslept this morning.
79. Spend a day ‘helping’ old people who don’t want to cross the road, cross the road.
80. Wait on the other side of the road, follow the chicken and find out what it’s plotting.

Moon Landing - Hoax

81. Build an exact model of the moon landing, set a camera up facing it and when mates come round panic and shout “Shhhhhhit, you can’t tell anyone you’ve seen that… Swear to me! The CIA will f**king kill me”.
82. Don’t add any inflection at the end of you sentences, creating awkward silences when people don’t know if you’ve finished…
83. Spend a day outside Tesco, dressed as a Jedi, waving your fingers at automatic doors as shoppers enter saying “Allow me…”.
84. Go on Jeremy Kyle and get a DNA paternity test done for someone who is clearly less than ten years younger than you.
85. Hold a mirror under a toilet cubicle door and say “Peekaboo”.
86. Walk through a busy city street with a microphone, pretending to do a piece to a camera in the distance.
87. Spend a day asking strangers what gender they are, “We’re doing some research”.
88. Take a bag of chips into Pets At Home and ask what size their goldfish go up to?
89. Build a working lightsaber.
90. Spent an hour every morning deliberately whistling songs that will get stuck in peoples heads for the rest of the day (Britney being first choice).
91. Furiously shout “Is that a threat?” every time someone asks you to do something.
92. Follow guests around your house wiping down everything they touch with Dettol wipes.
93. Go to Waterstones and swap the second and last pages of all the murder mystery books.
94. Decorate your spare room as a nursery (complete with empty cot), get a babysitter and tell them “little one’s asleep, but can you check on him in an hour or so?”.
95. Wear sequin hot pants on a lad’s night out.
96. Host a massive birthday party with loads of food and drink, invite one person you hardly know and spend the night excitedly saying “The rest of the gang will be along soon, you’re gonna love them they’re crazy”.
97. Answer “42?” (The ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything) to every question you get asked for a week.
98. Introduce yourself to friends and family as “Alan”, walk off muttering “I reckon I got away with that”.
99. Drop a £1 coin in front of kindly old folk and when one bends to pick it up for you, scream like a banshee and leap on it like a overly pumped prop forward.
100. Walk the streets of a major city, make and do not break eye contact with every one you pass..
101. Learn how to sleep, rather than squinting at an iPhone at 4am compiling random lists of things to do.

...

... Number 102... Replace sleeping pills with laxatives... Number 103...

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Facebook – An Idiot’s Guide

 

“I’m MB and I’m a Facebook addict.”

… there it is, the famous first step. I’m not sure what the second step is or if I’m actually that bothered, but at least I’ve finally come out.

By addict, I mean to a level where you automatically tap the Facebook tab every time you pick up your phone, even when you’ve clearly picked it up to do something specific(ideally this won’t happen for 999 calls, but I can’t guarantee that, so we’ll just have to cross that particular bridge when we come to it). The inconvenient truth(as in, in relation to this argument, not the Al Gore docu-powerpointy presentation which actually reveals far more about the average American’s political ideals than any of “the next President”s excellent points on climate change) is most apparent when asked for a phone number, e-mail address or amusing photo (obviously I mean “amusing at the time, by now embarrassing and slightly cringeworthy, which you’ll only remember a nanosecond before it finally opens” photo) and you automatically check for notifications en route, thereby having to angle your phone away from the requestor and mutter excuses until you’ve confirmed nothing has changed in the past four minutes(Hang on… God! This bloody phone!… It’s been really slow all day…), the delay only intensifying the disappointment on viewing your appalling photographic anecdote. (Sorry, but, just to clarify, Gore was kept out of the White House by W.)

Anyway, so, I wouldn’t say I’m hard core addicted, I’m still baffled by alot of the features of modern “FB” – the youth apparently ‘chat’ on it! Nevertheless, I still think back to that fateful day, way back in ’06 when peer pressure, or specifically Howard, suggested I might like it. In minutes he had me hooked up, registered and taking my first hit. It’s not that I blame Howard, I’m sure I’d have ended up giving in to Zuckerberg’s temptress at some point (sure I’d experimented with Myspace and Bebo, we all had back then) but that fateful day something changed and I was hooked.

Hooded Youths - Never amount to anything.

And so to the point of this report, in order that other “closer to middle age but still hip and trendy, with so much left to give” types can enjoy FB, I have compiled ten simple don’ts, to avoid you regressing into a bus stop cider swigging, sloaching, hooded oaf.

1. DON’T refer to Facebook ‘out loud’ as “FB”

This will not confirm that you are ‘down’ with the kids, merely that you don’t quite get the point of acronyms, abbr or syllables and are, primarily, a tool. (Similarly, when reading out a website address, why not consider saying “World Wide Web” rather than “www”, thereby saving yourself three valuable syllables which could be used later for something useful… LOL)(…and unless you are talking to someone who still says “all in lower case” after their e-mail address it’s a reasonably safe bet that they wouldn’t type in “worldwideweb” anyway)

2. DON’T refer to FB as Facef**k

May seem a strange point, but from experience it’s a valid one. Essentially if, for instance, you are a lady who refers to Facebook, for light hearted comedy reasons, as Facef**k, and may also want to confirm an appointment at a later date via a Facebook message. Probably best, on leaving for another engagement, not to shout “Alan, I’ll Facef**k you later!” across a crowded pub patio. The stunned silence, followed by wolf whistles and moronic cheers would have embarrassed a lesser man (but then a lesser man wouldn’t have coolly pointed to, and laughed at, the lesser man next to him).

Mothers - Unacceptable

3. DON’T “Accept” your mother.

This rule is mostly applicable to Vaynol Bar Managers, who despite being married and a father (normally this would be termed ‘grown up’, but obviously not in this particularly case), still conducts his offline social networking in such a deplorable manner that he still fears a thick ear if mummy ever saw the fallout on his wall.

4. DON’T fall for the attention seeking status.

Hannah is super excited!!! Yay!!! ;-)”… Are you? I have previously campaigned for an “Arsed” button to go alongside the sinister “Like” button, purely for this situation but alas all my correspondence with the techno-drones in California have come back unread, unheeded or with “ARSED” scrawled on the bottom in biro.
I’m not so grumpy that I object to another’s happiness, if they were to give us the details in the first place(which they clearly want to if they’re sharing it at all) then I may also be excited for them (What? It could happen). Unfortunately the sad fact remains that when someone does bite the bullet and ask ‘why?’(largely because they’ve taken pity that no one else has after two hours) it’s usually something so mind numbingly boring that you find yourself questioning how you ever knew someone who could get “super excited”(yay) about their dog getting a new collar, in the first place. All this will lead to you re-evaluating your social circle, which will only ever end in disappointment.

5. DON’T get sucked in to “good times” etc.

At least when txtspk was confined to text messaging it was relatively self contained(and managed – by not replying to Lurch’s illegible messages until he gave in and wrote like a grown up) and I don’t want to dwell too much on my feelings on the matter, but with 700 million members it’s spreading like an epidemic across the interweb highway.
So, next time you read the rantings of a grumpy old Box (see previous report “wtf r u 🙂 about?“) ask yourself who is really to blame for this callous dismantling of the English language? Shrugging youths? Over holidayed teachers? Or Zuckerberg and Berners-Lee?

Pauline, 18 from Bradford

6. DON’T post 100 identical photo’s of every single social event you’ve ever attended.

“Oh let’s all pout in this one…. Oooooh now let’s all do extreme gang signs…. Oh I know let’s blow kisses…. Oh let’s all pout in this one…”. Kill me.

7. DON’T take a photo of yourself in a mirror.

Unless you genuinely are “Pauline, 18 from Bradford*” and are indeed looking for singles in my area, put the camera phone down. Immediately.

8. DON’T sync your status @PrincessDoyle7

There are enough people wanting to fill my newsfeed with inane drivel without it being taken over by random @MarathonBox’s and #Twitter nonsense. Basically, I don’t understand the symbols and (like with the Japanese) have to assume it’s some form of witchcraft and therefore refuse to trust anyone who dabbles in it.

9. DON’T ‘Check In’

Treadstone, the whole of the Stasi and Malcolm Wynn-Jones are all out of a job nowadays because of the dabbling yanks and their GPS, Harry Pearce no longer has to task Malcolm and Colin with tracking Mahmood al Mahmood through some impossibly complex toe recognition software, when he can simply send him a Friend Request(probably under a pseudonym) and wait for the inevitable “Mahmood al Mahmood is having a skinny wet latte – at Costa Coffee, Kabul, then boom, quick phone call to Hugh Laurie over at 6 and… well… boom. Don’t allow your desire to show off that you’re sophisticated, and have been to a coffee shop, destroy our intelligence services. (…and for the record Tom Quinn is still the best Adam Carter)

 

10. DON’T ‘Like’ it.

Serial ‘Liker’s’, surely no one (not even Top Gay Nick Males) can be that happy. Even if I wasn’t a grumpy old box I’m fairly sure it would still baffle me.

Bonus: DON’T “Frape”. Full stop.

The ‘like’ button should be reserved for people to ‘like’ the frape they executed, purely so that everyone else can read what a socially retarded waste of genetics they actually are.

“Timmy Blanchard loves c**k”
– Stevie Lfc Scousington Likes this”

Ironically it’s never that clear whether it’s his brilliantly executed and intellectually challenging “frape” or love lengths which little Stevie enjoys so much, but I generally assume the inspiration comes from a freedom to say what the frapist (a truly horrible word which I’m only leaving in to prove what a mentalist activity it is) has always wanted to admit, but sadly never had the self confidence or forum to do so.

There are of course many more… (Don’t bottle it and delete comments, Don’t be “Married” to your BFF, Don’t give your ‘Friends’ the opportunity to mock your boredom threshold by posting Farmville scores, Don’t give yourself an amusing middle name… etc etc) but, I would hope that the “slightly older, but still down with the homies” users will work this out as they go along.

…. Anyway, sorry to go on but as I was saying, I’m MB and I’m a Faceboholic. It’s been 23 minutes since I last refreshed my newsfeed.

Facebook - Just Say No.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

* “Pauline, 18 from Bradford” is in fact “Dave, an 18 stone Games Workshop employee” (possibly from Bradford), who still lives with his despairing mother despite being in his late 30’s and has an avatar called “gothelvenslayer76”. It’s probably worth remembering that the next time your eye is drawn to (you’re only kidding yourself if you deny it) the singles ad thing scrolling down the right of your screen. Alternatively allow your imagination to run wild, but don’t forget to make room in your daydreaming for “gothelvenslayer76”, complete with Rustlers stained vest, lank greasy hair and gaming chair.

Disclaimer: The Box is guilty of breaking all of these taboos (apart from the frape one, due to not being socially bewildered), but as The Box is an inanimate object it probably doesn’t count.

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Medicated Follower Of Fashion – Part One: Nappy Jeans

Now before we crack on let’s get one thing straight, I grew up with C&A so I know a thing or two about style.

Carrot fit jeans?! Really? “Carrot” fit? That’s they best descriptive moniker they could come up with? All I can assume is that “SS Formal Dress Jeans” had already been copyrighted by someone* who wasn’t quite so quick off the mark in the manufacture of clothing to make adults look like nappy wearing toddlers in tights. It’s a ridiculous look and a ridiculous name, favoured by ridiculous people.

Carrot panters, morally questionable.

I discovered nappy fit jeans by accident, necessity drove me into a denim emporium, where I immediately employed the art of ‘Maninclothesshop’. Unfortunately on this occasion the tricky Gapists had arranged their shop so the first pair I saw(which are the only type a real man buys) were this freakish abomination. There was no clue on the display, (no sign directing you to the Jackboot department, no picture of two Aryan cowbabies leaning on the gate of their ranch and, not that it would have given me a clue, no sign of a carrot trying to squeeze into some poorly cut denim) it was clearly a calculated plan to ship out stock bought by a drunk buyer trying to woo a camp Italian designer(obviously the Third Reich loved this look, but Mussolini’s lot were just as bad, they are often overlooked because they favoured a gentler autumnal colour chart with soft pastels, much more 1943)(…and because, primarily, they ran away alot).
With shocking pants come shocking accessories and the big three footwear choices seem to be:

Hookers - Impractical.

a. The Pixie Hiking Boot Thing
Worn with nappy pants tucked in, these represent a practical alternative to the traditional over the knee “hooker” look favoured by Dick Whittington, Puss In Boots etc (aside from anything else the excess material gathering around the top of the boots would make trendsters look like Sir Walter Raleigh, who is evidently less of an inspiration than Whittington, Charming etc) whilst still allowing the Reich’s kinder reime characters the option to perform a schnappy heel click on demand. A useful and trendy feature on the streets of 1930′s Nuremberg, but a cocky, misguided and ultimately flawed choice for the streets of modern day Cheltenham.

Blackett & Walker - Fashion Icons.

b. The Swallows And Amazon Plimsole
These basic pumps are in their element helping kids capture Ronald Fraser’s hapless “Captain Flint”, drinking lashings of ginger beer or running four minute miles. However, Roger, Titty(it was a particularly inappropriate and smutty period in children’s literature), Nancy and Peggy would turn in their middle-aged, former child star (probably constantly allowing Betamax recordings of the film to drop out of their handbag, “Oh no, how embarrassing! I seem to have accidentally dropped my copy of a hit 1976 film with me on the cover…”) grave equivalents if they knew the callous, disrespectful way modern youth where abusing their wardrobe.

Espadrilles - Ropey.

3. Espadrilles
You’re not in Miami Vice, on holiday in Greece in 1986 or indeed, in a chipper 90′s Indie band (before all indie bands were privatised and forced to look like they were waiting for a bus, on an overcast evening in Salford and it’d just started to drizzle)(apart from Blur obviously, who don’t count after Country House, which is probably very popular with pixie booted, nappy panters, who probably singalong in their plastic mockney accents at one of the impromptu dinner parties in the credits of every Jamie Oliver program ever made) so what possible reason can you have for those ridiculous shoe/slipper/wet break arts and crafts projects? None, and unless it’s likely you’re going to need to enroll at university in the early 90′s any time soon get rid at once.

(An unlikely and ironic thing about nappy pant wearers is how often they accompany ladies in “Hammer” pants. Obviously the main point here is that the espadrilled, carrot man is with a lady not, as you’d assume, another like minded nappy fettler, but it’s also worthy of note that if common sense got a look in they’d combine the fabric and make two normal pairs of trousers).

I began this report with the assurance that, as a youth I was the purveyor of fine threads from C&A’s swanky fashion houses (I was no stranger to the world of the Global Hypercolour tee and my Leopard Shellsuit was the envy of many), so I feel qualified to assure you: Do not worry, don’t feel obliged to try these ridiculous trends. Remember, “fashion” changes, but style, like C&A itself will never die.

C&A - Fashion for living, style for life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fuhrer by Hugo Boss

* Incidentally, the dubious honour of Reichcouturier goes to Stuttgart’s own Mr Hugo Boss designer to the stars with endorsements from the fragile Sienna Miller, equine Sarah Jessica Parker and speedy Lewis Hamilton. All of whom are no doubt delighted to follow in the goosesteps of Herr Himmler, the SS, SA and Hitler Youth as they stylishly cut a dash across Europe and North Africa in their Boss designed and manufactured uniforms(obviously this does a slight disservice to the 200 forced labourers who did the actual tailoring, but presumably they’ll be happy to let the Boss take the credit). So it appears, contrary to popular(loosest sense obviously) belief the devil did not in fact wear Prada.

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wtf r u :-) about?

OMG WTF ...

After the potential, and accidental, usefulness of previous posts it’s time for a proper, grumpy, fist waving rant 😦

F**kin’ smiley’s (and inevitably ‘LOL’s). Why? Seriously. Why?

The British invented a perfectly brilliant language, exported it around a jealous globe and then like a cancer, teenage girls and Vaynol Bar Managers seek to destroy it from within with their lazy, insincere txtspk, “Good Times’s” and 😉 ‘s. It speaks volumes about the state of youth etiquette that I recently got mocked because I “text how I talk” – Yes, it’s called English, marvellous isn’t it.

Problem being of course that Lurch(the mocking youth) is over a decade younger than me* and that sentence was the only bit not written in youthish (I’d like to think it was delicious irony but… well… I know him 😦 ) which meant it took me a further ten minutes to decipher his ramblings before I could reply, written of course, “like I talk”(this is not true anyway because after 16 years working in kitchens (with the great, but not literally, unwashed) I at best, write how I ‘should’ talk). As the case in point it’s worth pointing out that Lurch’s spelling is as bad as it is “ammusing” and you have to wonder about the relationship between spellcheck, txt spk and writting like a toddler? (It’s probably also worth pointing out that ‘Lurch’ refers to his frame, and that he is a particularly bright and capable young man… who just ‘writes like an idiot talks’).

France - You're welcome.

So what about all the lol’ing? Obviously it’s laziness, and it’s unpatriotic laziness at that, a complete disregard for language and heritage. It’s worth remembering that the French, the true champions of shrugging laissez faire nonchalance (not necessarily the Lol’ing), nearly ended up speaking German in 1940.
Up to now we, the British, still rule the world albeit in more of a consultancy role nowadays (ignore our porky cousins, they’re just the Pinky to our Brain) and as such, important stuff, meetings, texts and letters from the Nigerian National Lottery are dealt with ‘like I talk’. The front runner to topple Pinky and the Brain are our far eastern cousins, although they’ve attempted to build a language based on Pictionary (not only foolish but also very immature). 😮 

Xorgons - Pale strange looking versions of ourselves.

So now a flippant disregard for our language has become a global issue, and furthermore when, inevitably, aliens (probably nothing scary just pale, greyer, strange looking versions of ourselves) do rock up, at some point in the future how will we communicate with them if we’re all speaking Mandarin? (aliens, as an advanced race will clearly speak English). The potential for Xorgon-Chinglish miscommunication will inevitably lead to some offence and a petty dispute, ending with an epic War of the Worlds style annihilation 😦

So, next time you vaguely throw in a “Good Times” in place of an actual phrase or lazily “lol” a telext be aware; U are not only being an illiterate, ignorant, unpatriotic fool but you are also contributing directly to the complete obliteration of planet Earth 😦 😦 😦

* A more grown up, balanced and less grumpy essay would probably refer to how we’re slowly going full circle from “Ugggg” and ‘writing’ on cave walls (a balanced argument would probably also refer to whether it’s a coincidence that people who ‘write’ on bus shelters still talk like this?) through the overly elaborate wittering on of Mr Darcy’s lot (to be fair, if you live in a time when ‘going for a turn about the garden’ can be considered an actual activity then I reckon employing a ridiculously long and rambling sentence structure, is a perfectly reasonable way of killing some more of your day) and eventually back to the LOLing generation, but I can’t be bothered and I’ve just had another FB message from Lurch which needs translating. Aside from anything else, would the Royal Mail really have been the envy of the world if (No seriously, it really was.) Thomas Brown was trekking from Candleford, up hill and down dale to loveable simpleton Alf’s mud hut in Lark Rise, to deliver Minnie’s heartfelt, if borderline retarded, ‘I ❤ U’?

Cave painting - Good times!

Ugg ugg John ugg saber tooth ugg ugg eaten lol

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