Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Let's not 'spork' about it...

As I sat at work the other day the topic of rogue hairs came up. Bear in mind I work with a bunch of females, so this conversation got quite interesting, but at the same time disturbing! I was asked how hairy I was. I responded by stripping down to my boxers and showing them all personally – we are a close knit team after all. It came to light that my arm pits look like I have two small men in a headlock… How unfortunate!

It was a good job I had put clean boxers on that day. It could have been much more embarrassing.
With regards to fashion and grooming I think I am a Neanderthal. I don’t get today’s fashion or fads. I am only 31 years old, but sometimes I feel (and look) much older… but not wiser.

Face creams are a bug bear of mine. Women swear by them. They reckon they take years off them and so pay £50 for a small tube that’s clearly made by some geek at a factory down south and not actually sourced from the fountain of eternal youth like they would have you believe. Oh how the pharmaceutical companies rub their hands together with glee.

What I want to know is how do they know it works? Either you use it or you don’t. So those that use it, how do they know they are looking younger than if they didn’t use it?! The only way I can see this being proved is if a woman volunteers to put cream on only half her face – then after a year see if one side looks younger than the other.

Naturally, being a woman, they have a counter argument and start chanting all these random vitamin numbers and scientific nonsense at you. Y’know all that stuff that they’ve had drilled into them through various magazines and adverts. They don’t know what they’re saying, but they know if it has numbers and letters and Jennifer Aniston uses it then it must be fact!

Waiting for a woman to take the day cream off and put the night cream on before jumping into bed is also a real passion killer let me tell ya! Another reason to hate creams!

Also can someone please tell me why the ‘yoof’ of today wear their jeans round the bottom of their arse? I mean each to their own, granted, but why do you want to parade your Asda George boxers to the world? I also do not see how it is logistically possible! I mean how do those jeans balance there in the first place? Is there some secret, invisible force holding them up? Is it like ‘tit tape’ but for men? A kind of 'ar-sellotape' maybe?

Men’s fashion is god damn awful with toms/deck shoes, low riders and skinny jeans, but then there is women’s fashion. Granted I am no expert on women, that is evidently clear by the fact I cannot keep a woman happy for longer than a month, but I still don’t get it.

Women’s fashion is like Hollywood movies. They have run out of ideas so they re-hash an old film, combine it with elements of another film and call it a blockbuster hoping to con the audience into shelling out a tenner at the cinema to watch something that was done better 20 years ago with less money!!

My first example of this is ‘Skorts’. This is apparently shorts and a skirt combined. By combining two previous items of clothing you can make something new and charge more for it. Who needs to buy separate shorts and a skirt when you can buy an all in one!

Do ‘skorts’ have pockets? And if so are they in the short bit or the skirt bit?

And apparently a ‘shrug’ is no longer a movement you make with your shoulders when you are unsure of something, but more a half finished cardigan!!!

Then there are’ jeggings’!! Some kind of hybrid of leggings and jeans! Who on earth decided this would be a good idea? Surely jeans that are tight on you are just skinny jeans? And if they are made out of stretchy material then they are leggings? They can’t be both can they?!

And I have seen the kind of people that wear these things. They should never have been invented for that reason. There is nothing worse than walking out of a shop and seeing a woman wearing ‘jeggings’, but looking like she’s smuggling a bag of puppies down the high street!

I once bought a t-shirt that had some kind of scarf attached to it. I thought I looked the mutt’s nuts, but it turned out I looked like some kind of Gok-Wan tribute act – suffice to say I was told this and I never wore said t-shirt again. So I’m thinking, for the benefit of the public, I should set up an honesty booth and let people know when they look less Jessica Biel and more Ian Beale!

I shouldn’t let it get to me, but it offends my eyes sometimes. I think it’s more the words though… Nah, scrap that, it is definitely the people tucking themselves into a pair of leggings too small for them that gets to me. However, the words do annoy me as well. And it isn’t just in the fashion world.

Take a blanket. Pay a few quid for said blanket. Put said blanket over your body when cold on an evening and watch TV. Take said blanket and add sleeves to it so that you can reach the remote control, because you are far too lazy to lift said blanket. Now add some pockets to put the remote in, because it is too far to reach through your sleeves in the first place.

Now re-name said blanket. I don’t know, what shall we call it…? Hmmm… A blanket with sleeves. A blanket. With sleeves… A slanket!!! WOW! See what they did there? Now let’s charge £15-£20 for this slanket as it’s new, it’s unique and it will save you around 1.3 seconds when reaching for the remote whilst keeping your hand at the same temperature as the rest of your body!

And it doesn’t end there either. Let’s take two things again that have been invented and combine them. Let’s take a fork and a spoon. Let’s have a spoon with some prongs and we’ll call it a ‘spork’. Can you imagine in 50 years time, the year 2072, watching the Antiques Road Show and someone is standing in the line with their 19th century silver plated dining set consisting of 12 forks, 12 knives and 11 spoons (there’s always one missing as it was used for a child’s pack lunch and never came home!), then there is a gentleman behind with a vintage 1990’s original Marks & Spencer’s ‘spork’
Someone out there is responsible for these annoying words too. Some clever dick with a degree under his arm that can combine two words to make another word. Or equally some total idiot that doesn’t know their left from their right and so feels the need to make a language up.

There are three kinds of people when it comes to language I find. There are people like me that will use simple effective language. A kind of layman’s terms language. Words that are not overly complicated, overly long and are easily understood by anyone, well almost everyone. Why say in 50 words what you can say in 5. This kind of person is therefore the ‘layman’.

Then there are those that think of themselves as a higher intelligence, and so use big long words in big long sentences. This is designed to dumbfound the person they’re talking to and also show you that they are the superior being with their huge intellect and fancy word play. The alpha-male of the language world. Or so they would have you think. I will call these the ‘alpha-words’

The Alpha Word:
"I have come to the conclusion that after this overly elaborate confabulation that you are indeed a beastly fornicator who defecates where he resides and is quite frankly full of faeces. I, therefore, do not wish to be in contiguous to your personage and wish for you to procreate elsewhere".

Me (The Layman):
"Yes mate, I don’t like you either and so you can go f*** yourself too".

Finally there is the generation that, much like those that create ‘jeggings’ and ‘sporks’, think up new words or just abbreviate the spoken word.

Side note, why is abbreviate such a long word?!

Anyway, these people are influenced by mind numbing, spirit crushing shows like ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘The Only Way is Essex’ and other such reality programmes. These programmes actually make you dumber as a result of watching. Programmes that make stupid people famous that already think they are great human beings, when in the real ‘reality’ they would all be washing cars or signing on if they hadn’t had their ‘god given talent’ paraded on screen.

That talent is making the rest of us feel like Einstein and creating phrases like ‘totes amaze’ and ‘well jel’ that are now being used in everyday life.

When someone tells me that something I have done is ‘totes amaze’ I want to hurt them. Even if I like them I still want to punish them for destroying the English language. Don’t get me wrong, I use a lot of slang, but when it comes to these new phrases, there is no place for them. Does it really take that much longer to say totally amazing? In fact it would take longer to say to explain what you originally meant in the first place!

These people even LOL (laugh out loud)! I mean they actually say ‘LOL’ out loud when something tickles them – they can’t even be arsed laughing or smirking to let you know they have found something funny! It is like their face is too lazy to show the humour.

I could blame text messaging, but there is a place in the world for that – historically people used abbreviations or acronyms to save space for the 160 characters per text you used to get and that has just followed on over the years. It was even used before that in those lonely hearts ads – "SWM WLTM woman, 18-65 with GSOH". I use acronyms like ‘btw’ (by the way) and ‘tbh’ (to be honest) all the time. I have no problem with that – but to abbreviate and use acronyms for the spoken word is just plain stupid.

Essex has a lot to answer for!

Anyway, this is not helping me get my new invention off the ground is it?

I have created an egg plant that you can write with – I am calling it the biro-bergine! I mean how totes amaze does that sound??


Thursday, 20 September 2012

There's no school like old school...

I went to Barnsley with my Dad to pick a car up at the weekend. I was seriously hung over, but said I would take him. On the journey I realised my Dad is old school with sprinkles of modern thrown in. I mean he’s gadget mad. He has to have the latest TV or phone. In that department he’s more modern than me. However, he still has that old school view on things.

His latest is that electric cars have no place on this planet. Only for health & safety reasons of course! He explained that he almost got knocked over by one because he didn’t hear it coming round the corner. He says as they make no noise, the deaf are especially at risk. He thinks there’ll be more fatalities as a result of not hearing the purr and rumble of a petrol or diesel engine. I have this image that in my Dad’s world the hard of hearing are just piled up at the roadside because of electric car accidents. Maybe these cars should be installed with cow bells on???

Personally, I think he just wasn’t paying attention and wasn’t using his other senses to ensure he crossed the road safely.

I told a colleague about this view point of my Dad’s. They excitedly told me that they had seen, for the first time, someone ‘filling their car up with electricity’. I’m not sure you fill a car up with electricity. I mean what if you spill some? Is it like diesel and smells when it gets on your hands? Do you have to wear rubber gloves when filling the car with electricity? I’m imagining tankers driving in from power stations full of electricity now…

Some people are just old before their time and do not always accept change – or think their viewpoint is the be all and end all. I work with many people like that, so old in the way they think and out of touch with modern day.

One bloke I work with is younger than me, but I swear he was born fully grown! I honestly don’t think he had a childhood. He doesn’t seem to remember anything on TV, he doesn’t read or watch films and he just seemed to exist one day but doesn’t know when. I think he was 30 when in nursery and will be 30 when he’s retiring. I think he was created, rather than raised and implanted with 1960’s theories and ‘wisdom’, the kind your parents have. He was engineered at some kind of cloning factory out in the hills of Huddersfield. I can’t prove this theory of course, but with the way science is going I am sure it is possible!

To be fair, I’m still a little old school too. I still say and do things the way I was shown and brought up. For instance, those of you with Sky or TiVo, you can record programmes, series, films and sports. A brilliant invention, one I would be lost without. However it also causes confusion.

I ask my two young boys, 9 and 8 years old, to ‘tape’ a show for me. This really puzzles them as the concept of taping is alien to them. I have to explain that I mean Sky+ that show or series. Only then do they understand.

As a result I realise the boys will never have the joy of sifting through video tapes to find a blank one or something you’re not bothered about taping over in order to tape the next episode of your favourite show. They can just press ‘Series Link’ and the entire series of Doctor Who will be waiting for them. In my day, if you forgot to tape something then there was no point watching the rest of the series, it was ruined!!

I don’t think my boys have ever seen a cassette tape either, for a Walkman or ghetto blaster. Again, they will never have that feeling of satisfaction at rewinding the cassette using a pencil in the reel!! Or the satisfaction of hitting the right part of the tape for the start of the song (or track as it’s known nowadays) you are after.

Although, when it comes to music, my boys think McFly wrote ’Don’t Stop Me Now’! I have to tell them that their version is a bastardised version of a truly great song by a band called Queen. I‘ve even shown them pictures of said band, but I’m not sure they are too keen on the fashion and THAT moustache, so they’re sticking with the McFly version. The heathens!

I still have a box of cassettes, VHS and a few beta-max tapes knocking around! On beta-max I had Willo the Wisp and my Dad used to tape me TJ Hooker in the 80’s… Ah, the memories… Heather Locklear mmmmm!

Technology has come on leaps and bounds. Everything is faster, smaller and more compact now. I would be lost without my iPod, but then again I miss having racks of CDs in the corner, something physical to pick up and hold and look at. You can’t do that with digital. Well, not in the same way anyway!

I remember the family getting a microwave when I was younger, much younger. It was huge though! It was beige in colour to match the wallpaper and couch! Why was the 80s so full of brown?! It was actually bigger than the cooker (they don’t build them like that anymore my Dad would exclaim now).

The microwave, as you all know, could cook food from frozen in minutes!! This was amazing to my Mum, who could get in from work late and still have time to prepare a full meal.

My Mum tried all sorts in there. She went microwave mad for a bit. I even remember one Sunday morning asking for a boiled egg – so she microwaved one!

A word of warning here folks, do not microwave an egg. It seems to fill with enough pressure to power a small town and when you tap the egg it explodes with the force of a small nuclear warhead! I found this out first hand, much to my horror, as I picked out the shell embedded in the wall (the next few Sunday’s I wore a bullet proof vest). This information would have been useful in any war we, as a country, have fought since! Arm our soldiers with microwaved eggs I say!

A teen getting into trouble is even far more advanced these days. I still think that those people who say that today’s generation is far more misbehaved then my generation are wrong. The difference is today’s teens can post what they have been up to on social networking sites. In my day we had to be caught doing the random act at the time it was committed. Now, days later, stupid teens put up pictures of them hammered or vandalising something or update their status with what they’ve been up to.

I remember as a kid some bloke starting a bonfire on the field near where we lived. My Mum told me I was not allowed to go anywhere near it. Naturally, being rebellious, I did go for a wander and played near the fire, jumping over it and throwing stuff that burns into it. My Mum will never know, after all I had no Facebook to update.

However, sometimes, I think my Mum is  Lt. Columbo… She doesn’t have a dirty raincoat or squint, but seems to just know what happened without being there and I was grounded as a result of playing near the fire.

How did she know???? I found out later that I must have got too close to the fire and had melted my shoelace and conveniently smelt of smoke. And my non-squinty eyed Mother Columbo had noticed this straight away! I was stupid not to have realised.

However, maybe today’s teens are different. Maybe they are a little more stupid than me still as a result of the internet and that invisible force known as Wi-Fi!!

I do love the Wi-Fi though. I have become increasingly obsessed with finding hot spots and Wi-Fi zones so I can tell the world where I am, what I am doing and what I am eating. However, I think it destroys the whole conversation thing dead. Face to face conversation that is. There’s no going into work now on a Monday morning and discussing what you did over the weekend as every bugger already knows due to my Facebook updates, pictures and videos.

‘New’ has killed ‘old’… Maybe that’s why I’m still clutching onto the old ways in some aspects. Maybe my Dad is right after all and the world is not ready for electric cars!

Soon we are going to live in a world where we’re all mute and have RSI as a result of conversing via text, type and touch screen!!

In 1979 The Buggles sang that video killed the radio star… Maybe McFly could update this track and sing about Facebook killing the conversational star?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Soldier of Misfortune

I like to watch TV. I watch a lot of it. You do this when you are a single man. I watched a news programme the other day. It was about euthanasia… Who knew that euthanasia WASN’T about children in China?!?! I have also been watching re-runs of The A-Team. The scrapes they get into, the soldiers of fortune out to help those who need it. It got me pondering…
I am the opposite of The A-Team. I misunderstand and am misunderstood. I am not a soldier of fortune, more a soldier of misfortune! I get into situations, sometimes because I have no choice and other times because I am trying to be helpful, but often it is by pure accident!

I went to the dentist a few months back. A tooth had snapped in half (bloody apples, no wonder I don’t eat green stuff) and as a result the tooth had gone ‘bad’. So it was either opt for root canal surgery or have the bad boy whipped out.

I read up on root canal surgery and it sounded uncomfortable over several sessions and didn’t always work, whereas tooth extraction (makes it sound much less barbaric!) is only uncomfortable for one sitting. I opted for the extraction.

I sat in the dentist. I was nervous and a fair bit sweaty at the thought of the extraction. For some strange reason my right arm pit sweats more than my left one.

Because of my excessive sweat situation I have to do the lick test in clothes shops. I go in the changing room and lick the fabric of the t-shirt or shirt and see how dark a patch is left… It gets a little embarrassing when staff catch you suckling on new clothes mind you, and I’m not allowed back in Burton’s now as a result!

Anyway, it helped that the dentist was a young woman who was very easy on the eye. Although I think her name was Ms. Fortune so that should have been an omen! She practically climbed in my mouth with various power tools! I swear I had a Black & Decker drill and a Dyson vac in there at one point!!

It’s the noise that’s the worst bit. You feel nothing as you’ve been numbed up after being stabbed with what appears to be a sawn off drain pipe and plunger! That thing is huge!! For a good ten minutes she ‘crunched’ and ‘cracked’ away at the tooth. A sound that only you can hear in your head, the dentist hears nothing at all. This is nice for them.

Eventually the tooth came out (it was at the back, the one before the wisdom tooth for your information). She held it aloft, like a new born child – in fact like the scene in Lion King when Simba is born – I swear there were trumpets and a choir somewhere in the room. Then the euphoria was shattered when she turned to her assistant and asked quietly "Have you ever seen that happen?" The assistant shook her head.

I mumbled, whilst spitting blood every where, was this a good ‘happening’ or a bad ‘happening’? The dentist put down her Black & Decker, turned to me and said very calmly "Your wisdom tooth has come away at the same time".

She saw the look of panic in my eyes and acted quickly to reassure me.

"Don’t worry Mr. Evans, think of it as a 2 for the price of 1". At least she had a sense of humour.

I kept the teeth by the way; I paid for the job doing after all, so I wanted them as a kind of prize trophy to adorn my mantelpiece! Or maybe I could wear them round my neck like surfer’s do with shark teeth???

This wouldn’t be the first type of ‘medical’ misfortune either to hit me. Far from it in fact. I once broke my wrist playing football and they set it at a very camp angle. I walked around for two months looking like I was mincing. I am still unsure why it affected my hip movements so much!

It wasn’t the comfiest thing to wear either and restricted a lot of things you take for granted. Like wiping! I solved that though by shuffling round on a towel on the floor, similar to what a dog does when it has worms! I won’t go into too much detail there though.

I once lost a cigarette packet down the cast as well when I had an itch deep inside and the only thing to hand was an empty pack of 10 Lamberts. I still have the imprint years later, a kind of unfortunate tattoo.

Then half way through the two months it wasn’t setting right so they had to re-break and set it again. I remember waiting patiently in the hospital room. This nurse carted in a canister of gas and placed the breathing tube on my lap.

"This will hurt Mr. Evans, so please use the gas as a form of pain relief".

Meh!! I don’t need that! Plus it makes me feel ill. When my eldest was born there was gas on hand for his Mum during child birth. I swear it had a leak and came floating round the room making me feel quite sick.

The nurse started ‘breaking’ away. "Please sir, use the gas…" I felt nothing though. She continued… "Gas, sir". I responded that I didn’t need it. This wasn’t going to hurt really. After all I am a strong, thoroughbred Yorkshire man! Then, in one swift movement she bent my wrist forward sharply, producing a sound like a creaking floorboard. I swear I saw her smile at this point. That concerned look for her patient had long gone!

WOW! That’s when all the hurt came at once through my entire body and I went through three canisters of gas in 2 minutes!!! I do hate it when I’m wrong!

I used to play rugby in my teens. That’s rugby league by the way, not that soft version that is played globally. I never really was on the end of any terrible injuries. Just misfortunes…

I was playing full back this one game, last line of defence, on a very autumnal, muddy pitch. The opposition kicked the ball through on the last tackle and I went down to scoop up the ball. Meanwhile the player that kicked it had followed up and went to swing for it with his foot, missing the ball (as it was in my hands) and instead booting me in the head!

It left me with quite a gash in the side of my head and a stiff neck.

We lived near a doctor at the time and after the game he wrapped a Guardian newspaper round my neck as a temporary neck support brace and then covered that with a tea towel. I know it was for the best, but didn’t I look a bobby dazzler in A & E with newspaper print on me and a stained tea towel from Brixham!

The medical staff sure had a laugh at that!

I had taken my contacts out also, just in case of concussion, and had my glasses on at the time. They took me into a small room and cleaned the wound, and then instead of stitching the cut they decided, due to its position, they would glue it.

I also had to have a tetanus shot in my arse! I asked, no I begged, for it to be in my arm, but they said that would leave me with a dead arm for a few hours. I didn’t mind, I was willing to take that risk, but it was a no go and because of the fuss I kicked up several medical staff sat around watching as I was pricked in the arse! Feel free to make your own jokes up in your head there…

I returned home, bruised, battered with the previous days headlines smudged onto my skin. I still had a bit of mud from the game earlier in the day and so was ordered to shower before I sat down.

I went into the bathroom, got undressed (calm down ladies!!), took my watch off, turned the shower on and then went to take my glasses off. That was when the real misfortune of the day’s activities hit home.

The glue had slowly run down from the cut in my head, to the point where the arm of my glasses rested on my ear.

The medical staff had glued my glasses to my fecking head!!!!

I wrapped a towel round me, ran downstairs and declared a state of emergency!! I was looking for concern, sympathy and guidance. Instead I was greeted with howls of laughter and tears of joy!! Family eh!!

To cut a long story short I had to scrub at the glue in the shower with my glasses steaming up. This didn’t work and eventually led to me trimming round the arm of the glasses that left a bald patch where the glue had been cut out of my hair!

There was one positive though. My glasses at least had a nice winter coat on one of the arms now! Talk about accessorising!!

And that, readers, is why I am the ultimate soldier of misfortune. One day I will love it when a plan comes together…

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why So Serious? Berocca that Focker!!

As I have said before, I ponder. I mean why do old people, who have retired, insist on doing their shopping on a Saturday morning when they’ve had all week to do it?? Surely there should be some law? I think David Cameron has his priorities wrong!

I do ponder why people don’t have a sense of humour. Surely laughing and smiling is much better than getting anxious, uptight and just plain angry? I mean I still go through those emotions, but generally I try to make a joke out of it.

I went to the doctor’s a few weeks back. I say went, but was sent by work colleagues as they felt I was run down – one even bought me Berocca which was nice, the sentiment, not the taste that is. Berocca did turn my urine bright orange which entertained me.

The fact of the matter is I was burning the candle at both ends and it involved large consumptions of alcohol. This alcohol was the substitute for food. When you have a tenner left are you going to buy a frozen pizza, chips and a tin of beans or a 12 pack of lager?!!

This was the doctor’s issue as well. "How many units of alcohol do you have Mr Evans?" I was honest, I replied I have around 8-9 units. "That’s around the amount per week that is recommended". I didn’t have the heart to tell her that was a daily dosage!

She asked if I had a balanced diet. I said I can hold a pint in each hand and smoke a cig whilst standing on one foot.

I got nothing. Not even a half smile, not a smirk, a raised eyebrow… nothing! Oh well it made me laugh at least.

"Do you eat properly? Do you have your five a day?" I told her that I have salad on my kebab, but again, nothing. I tell a lie, I got a glare this time!

"Why do you not eat properly?" I replied that my chef left me some time ago and took all the cooking utensils with her! "Do you have anyone to talk to about this?" I said I have two very good drinking pals and by the end of the night we are putting the world to rights. Discussing all kinds of things from football to politics to rearing panda’s in captivity!

At no point did the doctor raise a smile. Bedside manner is long dead me thinks!

That’s my problem you see, everyone seems to take life so seriously now. There aren’t enough people around with a sense of humour – not everything has to be a drama.

I like to laugh. I like to make others laugh. I feel like it’s a hobby of mine and if a joke or a prank doesn’t go down too well I am disappointed in myself. Like my school reports always said "Has the capability, but must try harder". Must make people laugh harder I think.

Once during a team meeting at work we were questioned about some letter and more to the point the wording of said letter, the team discussed words that would suit. People were asked what words they liked. I drifted off for most of the conversation truth be told as it seemed a mountain out of a molehill scenario. The discussion got very serious until it came to me. "What words do you like James?" I looked up from my dream about rearing panda’s and I said "clitoris!" I said it just rolls off the tongue. Apparently a letter to a customer cannot have the word clitoris in it. Who knew?!?

When you first start in a job, you start at the bottom… I am still there over 10 years later, but that bottom rung is kind of a comfort blanket now. Plus I do think I wouldn’t be taken seriously in a position of power anyway. Certain people want to step up the career ladder. Those people were mates when you perched together on the bottom rung, but then with great power comes… the need to lose your sense of humour and become a twat!

Management have no sense of humour. I clashed often with one manager in a previous job. He once dragged me into a room and asked me why my disciplinary file was much thicker than those who have been in the role for years. I mumbled and looked sheepishly, I towed the corporate line, but inside I wanted to say it is because you have become a twat.

I remember sellotaping my colleague’s phone – a thin piece of tape over the ear piece works wonders! It makes the person you are talking to sound very, very quiet. The manager, who disliked me intensely by now, called IT. They could not figure it out. And if IT can’t reboot something as a cure to the problem, then they are stumped! Eventually I whispered to my colleague explaining what the real problem was and hey presto the phone started working again.

My manager took me to the usual room (I think it may have even been renamed in my honour now) and told me that if I had anything to do with that ‘problem’ I was in for it. I mumbled, looked sheepishly and towed the corporate line.

IT has no sense of humour either. As I said if they can’t reboot something they internally combust! I remember taking a screen grab of a colleague’s desktop and setting that grab as his wallpaper background. Surprisingly he couldn’t minimise anything as he didn’t realise it was just a picture he was clicking on. IT came down and rebooted several times over the course of 20 minutes… Who knew it was a waste of their time when they finally realised the ‘problem’? I see it as a lesson learned personally…

Those close to you do not always have the best sense of humour either. Although maybe its age that decreases your humour?

My Grandma likes to lecture me on drinking. Every time she sees me! When I rung her to say I was coming to deliver her birthday card she made some comment about making the effort and not being in the pub for once. I told her that I had to go that way anyway to see my crack dealer! She tutted, loudly, but I am not entirely sure she knows what crack is…

I once rang my Dad. I used my own voice (I didn’t borrow one this time) and asked to speak to Kevin. My Dad is called Bob.

Bob: "Sorry no Kevin here, you must have the wrong number".
Me: "Sorry for that"
I rang again and asked for Kevin.
Bob: "Haha, you have just rung here, you have the wrong number".
I rang again…
Bob: "Seriously, what number do you have? This is the third time you have rung me!!"

I didn’t know he was half way through building some gadget that he had just got! Apparently there are better ways to spend my time and his time. I am still disappointed he didn’t recognise his own son’s voice… So who should be more put out here???

I like to play pranks as you can see, I like to entertain and I LOVE sarcasm… Highest form of wit, lowest form of intelligence as my Mum tells me.

And all this is my Mum’s fault you see. Not the pranks – that is my own work of evil genius. However the cutting remarks and sarcasm have been drilled into me by my Mum through the years. She is the Queen of put downs, quick wit and sarcasm.

I used to wear glasses. I no longer do. I wear contacts. I wanted laser eye surgery but it wouldn’t cure my double vision – which explains why I thought I had two brothers for a lot of years! The glasses bit is important so bear with…

I was sat on the couch, minding my own business. My Mum was sat in the chair opposite watching TV. She was eating a peach. A small disagreement came about – possibly about alcohol – I made some quick witted remark that I thought was funny. My Mum took offence to this comment… I don’t know what it was now… and she launched the peach at me. It hit me full on in the face and smashed my glasses in two!

"Muuuuuum!! You have smashed my glasses!" I cried with peach juice running down my face whilst picking the shrapnel of the peach stone out of my cheek.

As cool as you like, she turned to me without blinking and said "I am a good shot aren’t I!" She then turned back and continued watching the TV.

No remorse and no hope for me ever… That’s why I tell people it was a water melon she threw now because people think she’s cruel as a result of the ‘peach’ abuse and that means I get the last laugh.

And I like to laugh and when I do it’s like Berocca… me on a good day!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

One Jew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!

I ponder. That’s what I do. I ponder why people bless children’s little cotton socks. I ponder what the man who first milked a cow was thinking. I ponder why that man added what was produced to his brew! I ponder what reformed turkey is (they sell it in Subway) and how did that turkey better itself to be given the right to be called reformed.

I have often pondered if I am a good mate, or just a bully…? When I say bully I don’t mean it to sound like I am some vicious thug of course. I just mean I laugh at others when really I shouldn’t… Like Cheltenham fans!

However, I do have a mate, I have two in fact! But one particular mate comes in for a lot of ridicule and stick.

You see there are three amigos, as we call ourselves. One lad is my age and I have known him 28 years. I know far too much about him, have seen far too much of him and there really is nothing left to take the mick out of anymore… hold that thought, that ain’t true, but I shall save that for another blog in the future.

The second lad is 6 years younger. Some people are under the impression that I hang out with younger blokes so that they look up to me… This isn’t true – instead it is so I can influence and pass on my cynical view of the world to the next generation!

This lad started playing footy with us around 6 years ago and at first he was very quiet. He has wiry brown (ginger really!!), curly hair… To help him settle in 6 years ago I instantly nicknamed him Jew Boy and it has kind of stuck, well me and amigo number 1 have MADE it stick. Please note he has no religious connotations at all, but I stereotyped. And stereotyped badly if I am honest, but it’s stuck and so we roll with it.

Now Jew Boy comes in for a lot of mickey taking. In fact a lot is an understatement! He is generally the butt of our jokes, but he takes it on the chin, in fact he joins in! I mean a lad with curly ginger hair, pale complexion and a head shaped like a boiled egg is going to have the mick taken out of him. It’s nature’s law…

Let me point out at this moment in time that he is a good mate of mine, so I am allowed to take the mick. Much in the same way you can let off steam/whinge about your partner, but if anyone else calls them names you will kick off! I am not saying he is my partner either; I have no sexual desire towards him at all.

And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being gay either, it just isn’t for me. Although some think it may be what I am destined for due to my dancing prowess! AND 10 years ago I started seeing an older woman and daren’t tell my Dad, so pretended that I was staying at a mate’s house every time I went to see her. Eventually I took my Dad to the pub and said I had something to tell him. I was going to finally admit to my relationship with an older woman… He put his hand on my shoulder and said "I know son, I know… you are gay and I am ok with that…" Hmmmm… he was actually a little disappointed when I told him that wasn’t what I was going to say. I think he even had a bet on with his mate!

Anyway, back to Jew Boy… It isn’t his looks that make it easy to take the mick, although it helps. It seems to be the situations he gets into. An example of one such situation is the night he got hiccups. A few pints and a curry, eaten rather hurriedly, gave him the hiccups.

I had heard of an old wives tale that if you sit upside down and close your ears and your nostrils using your fingers and then someone gives you a drink they will be cured! And it works you know… Try it next time. Hang upside off a chair, use your first fingers on each hand to push your nostrils together and stretch your thumbs to close your ears, and then get a mate, whilst you’re still upside down, to give you a drink and chug away… hey presto no hiccups…

One of the vital parts of this process is the mate giving you a drink. You can’t use both hands to close up various orifices as well as take a drink whilst hanging upside down! However Jew Boy tried to do it by himself whilst I was busy doing something (I think it may have been a late night of playing Pro Evo!).

I heard choking, some gargling, some profanity (as spillage had occurred) and then nothing… I slowly turned round to see if Jew Boy was dead (at half time of my game naturally) and was greeted by the sound of snoring. Somehow he had managed to fall asleep upside down; his head like a big red egg where the blood had rushed to it… but cure his hiccups he had!! I naturally filmed this of course, as he was in such a deep sleep I could have tea bagged him… I didn’t, but was tempted!

I also once filmed him dancing to Michael Jackson’s Experience on the Xbox. I then sped it up, changed the track and posted on YouTube for the world to see… I say the world, but so far only 50 people have viewed it – not quite viral just yet!

I’ve also issued his girlfriend with a questionnaire about his performance and physical shape. This, bear in mind, was the first time I had met her… in fact it was the morning after the first time he had met her!!! But they are now properly dating at least, so it didn’t scare her off. Not that I have seen her since and this is some months ago now.

Jew Boy dating!! That’s another story altogether… I mean this guy states he has no confidence with women then gets his tips from watching old "Confessions of…" films. He was a gardener for a while, he was skint all the time, but that was because he took payment in kind! We use the term gardener loosely because if you ever saw his garden you would be surprised… Welcome to the jungle!!!

So am I a bully? On the evidence above it seems I am, but look at it on the other hand, I am slowly making Jew Boy famous! AND may I point out that I have gotten into many a scrape and situation and equally the other two amigos have ripped into me – so it can be given out and taken in equal measure.

In fact I have probably gotten into worse scrapes than both of the other amigos put together, but I have the one big advantage when it comes to mickey taking…

… I do not look hard boiled…

P.S. Lets get those 50 odd views up… to see Jew Boy dancing, click here:

Machine Gun Questioning...

I have two kids, both boys, and don't get me wrong I love them dearly... But boy do they machine gun question sometimes!!


One after the other after the other... I guess it is similar to my domino thinking, but when you've had a long day at work and have had little sleep (because you stayed up to watch Murray win the US Open, just so you can join in the conversation the next day it isn't needed!!).

It's also the fact that the questions do not make sense either or are not even remotely connected to what you're watching/discussing in the first place.

My boys have discovered sport, after not being interested for so many years, they now are. Which is great! What every Dad wants, to be able to watch sport with his kids. However, with that comes the need to realise that they do not know everything yet, even if they think they do.

So whilst watching England vs Ukraine (don't get me started on that) I sat with the boys. My youngest, who is 8 on Sunday, got in a panic that he had not updated his Fantasy Football team. I explained that this was England, not Premier League so no need to worry about that until Friday. Calm ensued...

Then came the question "Why does Lampard play for England when he was a Chelsea player last week?" I explained that Chelsea is club football and then if good enough, or in England's case there is really no alternative choice, they are picked for their country.

My youngest panicked... "But what about my Fantasy Football team?!?! How will it affect it???" I explained again that club football and International football are two different things.

Then they both asked "Why don't England pick Drogba...?" I explained that he wasn't English, but they counter argued that he DID (not now of course) play for Chelsea, the same as Lampard, so surely could be picked for England.

Then my youngest asks if Mikel (another Chelsea player) was Argentinian... I said no. To which my eldest said that was stupid as he was a "black player and so couldn't be Argentinian, so must be African".

I said he was African, Nigerian to be exact, but just because he's black doesn't mean he comes from Africa. I used Welbeck as an example of an Englishman.

That seemed to click or so I thought.

"But Mo Farrah is British but was born in Africa" came the reply. Hmmm... Yes, but he moved to Britian at a young age and has become a citizen of the UK. Why is is that they hear Mo was born in Africa maybe once and it sinks in, but whatever I tell them takes an age to comprehend??

The game continued...

"Buuuuuut.... Drogba has lived in the UK for years now, why can't he play for England...?"

I am losing the will to live...

Then another question by the youngest. "Is Mo Farrah Defoe's brother? That's what so and so said at school..."

No he's not. Defoe comes from London (I think), they are not related.

"But I am from Yorkshire and my cousin's are from South England and we're related... "

Grrrr... Ukraine are 1 up and time is running out and I am getting the hump listening to these questions... I could quite easily send them to bed now seing as it's a school night, but everyday is a school day as the phrase goes and I am giving them my wisdom and helping them learn... But I just want to watch the game.

After endless conversations about corners that shouldn't have been and my eldest shouting foul for every tackle because I did once earlier, my relaxing evening was turning into a most stressful one.

Then my youngest pipes up again... "Did I do anything funny as a baby...?"

No! Was my short and shrift reply. You laid still, you never moved, never gurgled, you did nothing... Done with!

"That isn't what Mum says..." Grrrr

When did Sturridge come on the pitch?? God, I missed that bit... Have I seen any of the 2nd half in fact???

Finally a penalty!!!! Lampard steps up and scores under pressure - hooray!! 1-1 and England have salvaged a draw...

My youngest looks at me, big blue eyes, a look of concern on his face... He opens his mouth and talks just above a whisper...

"Oh no Dad, he's on my bench on my Fantasy Football team...."

I think it's bed time... And tomorrow I am buying an Encyclopedia!!!

My final thought as they brushed teeth and got their PJ's on was why oh why do they manage to pee on the inch of porcelain around the toilet rim and not in the middle??!?!?! I use more toilet roll on cleaning the toilet seat than I do on my own arse!!!

Good night children, sweet dreams.... Until the next game...