Thursday, 25 October 2012
Now I may offend some people with my views on life etc, but quite frankly I don’t care. There are many things that get under my skin and this blog would be pages and pages long if I listed them all, let alone spoke about them individually. However, a few things really do make me scratch my head or cause me some kind of anger issue.
As I drive round I see what people do to their cars. There was one car I pulled up by at some traffic lights that was covered in stickers. Not car transfers, like flames or go faster stripes, but actual sticker book stickers! Football stickers, Thomas the Tank Engine stickers, super hero stickers! I mean why? Why would you do that to your car? They weren’t even in the window, they were all over the body of the car! That would take a lot of white spirit to get off if you ever wanted to sell the damn thing. In fact I’m not sure a scrap merchant would want it in that state! Although they did have an Alan Shearer sticker that I need to complete my Euro ‘96 Panini sticker album – I should have peeled it off!
However, the one thing that really does do my head in is those people – and I’m afraid it’s women that do this – that put eye lashes on their car! It’s normally Ford Ka drivers that do it! Now the Ford Ka is a crap car anyway and always offends my eyes as it is. It looks like some geezer at Ford had a tight deadline to submit plans and went out the night before the presentation, had an all night bender on the booze, got into work the next morning still pissed up and panicked that the presentation was only 30 minutes away!
Granted it is a girl’s car, along with a Nissan Micra, but is there any need to put false eye lashes on the headlights? Do they think this is cool or cute? Do they have some massive mascara in the boot for the days when the car is looking a little run down? Do they get served quicker at McDonalds drive through if they flutter the car eye lashes at the server?? What is the point?
I also cannot do with those ‘funny’ car stickers that are usually on some clapped out Nissan Cherry that states ‘My other car is a Ferrari’. No it isn’t… if you had a Ferrari you would either be driving round in it or could afford a better second car. I know they are going for irony here, but it isn’t funny. It wasn’t funny 20 years ago, let alone now!
I bet my brother sees all kinds of monstrous work done to cars no doubt, professional and amateur efforts! He is a car technician (posh word for mechanic I believe) after all and will have seen all kinds of mayhem roll onto the forecourt. Although knowing my brother he won’t even bat an eyelid.
My brother has his career; he works damn hard at it, and a lovely 2.1 family thing going on. He is the Angel Child of the family and always has been ("why can’t you be more like your brother" comes the call), but he does have a dark side that comes out every so often and generally it’s in my direction.
Once Angel Child lost his temper with me because after drinking a load of cider together (classy I know!) I said his hair looked like a brillo pad and he should get it cut sooner rather than later. This struck some kind of nerve and Angel Child offered me out – he wanted to actually punch my lights out for suggesting his head could get through the family dishes quicker than the cloth that was used!
We had a bit of sibling rivalry when younger, no different to other brothers and sisters, it still exists now to a certain extent as I am generally the offspring that gets into trouble, into scrapes and am crap at relationships and money. Whereas Angel Child is the calm, career driven, family man who plays sports and is in a stable marriage. Everything a parent would want in a son.
He is generally the most placid one of the two of us, keeping his calm in a whole manner of circumstances, until something rubs him up the wrong way. I mean he wouldn’t get annoyed by eye lashes on cars or ‘funny’ bumper stickers like I would. He doesn’t generally get wound up by the small things in life. It is a slow build up of things or someone who presses the right buttons.
But when he does go, he goes!
I remember I used to, as the older brother naturally, beat him up. I used to pin him down and do the typewriter on his chest that sent him into a rage. He was smaller than me and so I had that power over him.
However, what he would do would be one of two things.
If there was a stick or something handy that he could whack me with then he would use it! We had one of those mini snooker tables in our bedroom and if he could get free of our tangle he would pick up a snooker cue and whack me with it! Usually aiming for the back of the head, but anywhere would do. I can tell you right now that it hurts! I am still surprised he didn’t arm himself with a snooker ball in the sock for such occasions!
If he couldn’t find a weapon he would naturally grass me up to the parents and later he would do something to me that would cause great emotional pain, if not physical pain.
He may destroy a Lego model that I had spent weeks on, smashing it to bits so that I had to start again. Or he would bide his time and kick me in the head, he’s done that you know. He’s waited until I have pounced, me thinking he hadn’t noticed me, then he would lash out – my own fault I guess there. He split my brow open once! Or he would smash a door in my face which once caused my tooth to snap in half. Or he would hide stuff of mine or use stuff of mine that he knew would get to me, to get a reaction.
I got bought a Sega Megadrive for my birthday when I was younger – all my mates had games machines and I was desperate for one as I’d never had one. The day I got it was also the day of my party and so had a few friends round. It was all shiny and new and I wanted to play on it first, but had to entertain friends.
Under no circumstances was my kid brother allowed to play on my Megadrive!! It was mine and I didn’t want him soiling it, I didn’t want to then play on a second hand Megadrive! He asked and he asked, but I wouldn’t let him, no way, he wouldn’t ever allow me to play with something of his so it was the same rule for him.
However, as I played out with friends he went on it!! I caught him out and was incensed by this – he knew the rules!! Sure enough a fight erupted out and no doubt he hit me with a weapon, possibly even the Megadrive itself!
He also liked to wind me up in other ways, by taking the mick whenever he could.
Once I was sat in my bedroom and had an itch on my eyebrow. There was some scissors to hand so I used them to tend to the itch. Sure enough, like the numpty I am, I ‘scratched’ away half of my eyebrow! So in a panic, because it looked stupid, I shaved the rest of it off. So now I had one normal eyebrow and one pale area of skin where an eyebrow once resided.
My brother at first did not take the mick, in fact he was quite helpful. He offered solutions; unbeknownst to me he was wanting to make the situation worse. He took out a brown felt tip pen and coloured in where my eyebrow once was. Now leaving me with one normal eyebrow and one thick, dark felt tip eyebrow! To say it didn’t look natural is an understatement. However, he still kept ‘helping’ without taking the mick.
So he said it had to be evened up and in the blind panic I shaved the other one off.
What is it about eyebrows? They are there all the time, usually, and you do not pay any attention to them. If you pass someone in the street you generally do not look or even notice their eyebrows first, yet if you have no eyebrows it completely changes your face and everyone suddenly notices…
I played rugby at the time too and so when I went training I didn’t want the lads to see I had no eye brows and so my brother suggested I rubbed a bit of mud into where they should have been – that didn’t work either! Cue much hilarity aimed at me from the rugby lads.
Now, eventually, my brother was tickled – he had succeeded in his long term plan to make a fool out of his older brother. He had held it in for so long and now erupted with laughter and told everyone who was interested and more that weren’t. Yet call him brillo pad head once and he gets wound up!?!?! Go figure!
I am equally as bad of course, that’s what having a brother is about. That rivalry doesn’t end because you’re older.
A few years back when I split with the mother of my children I moved back into my Mum and Dad’s and started going to the nearest pub, becoming a regular. To cut a long story short the pub was run by a gay couple and me and my brother had a lock in with them one night – no funny business here folks, so don’t think it – and they were telling us all about their private lives. Me and my brother were very uncomfortable at this and made our excuses to leave – and I never like to leave a pint!
A few weeks later one of the landlords wrote on my Facebook wall about not being up to the pub much recently – 3 days later he was killed by his partner! That’s a story in itself right there.
I was then called by the police and asked about them as a couple…
"Finally Mr Evans, I have to ask, did you or your brother have a sexual relationship with either the victim or the accused?"
"Absolutely not Officer, although I cannot speak on behalf of my brother…"came my reply!
My brother wasn’t happy that I had suggested anything other than him being a happily married heterosexual man!
That’s how it will always be between me and the Angel Child. One-up-man-ship between each other.
Trying to out do each other – I mean we don’t even play football on the games console together now as we end up kicking lumps out of each other as neither of us like to lose. The rivalry is less intense now mind you, because he hardly ever speaks to me. He very rarely gets in touch and generally it is me who has to organise to see him or get him out to the pub.
Plus he goes to the gym and is much bigger than me now and so I couldn’t even attempt to do the typewriter on him, I wouldn’t be able to pin him down for a start!
I don’t want you to get the impression that we’re arch enemies though as when we do get together we have a laugh and drink till the early hours of the morning. We usually drink right through in fact, much to the disgust of his wife, and get ourselves into scrapes together, not just against each other. We are kind of the best of enemies at times, just like any family. We’re ‘frenemies’ in fact.
However if he does ever read this then it would be nice for him to actually let me know that the baby him and his wife are expecting next February is a boy and not have me find out from someone else!! Someone who isn’t actually a blood member of the family!
He’s quick to tell me I am a knob, but not quick to let me know anything of importance!
Family eh, you can’t pick ‘em, you can’t kill ‘em, you can’t even call them brillo pad head without aggro!
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
As previously stated in an earlier blog I am a parent to two boys. Some may think I am a harsh parent as I let the boys fall over and pick themselves up – it’s the only way they learn. However, what I noticed from other adults, parents and non-parents, is how they talk to babies.
Babies learn fast. I mean I could start learning Chinese now and never be fluent, but a baby picks up the very confusing English language quite easily, within a few years in fact. So bearing this in mind why do adults talk like they do to babies? Surely they would learn quicker if they used proper words?
Is there any need to say "Oh look at that choo-choo Tommy"? The first part of that sentence is in English but then they feel the need to change train into ‘choo-choo’!! Or ‘ moo-moo’ for cow! Or ‘brum-brum’ for car! Just use the actual word in the first place! Or if they do use the right word, just say it once! Just say ‘cat’ and not ‘Look at the cat-cat Tommy’! I have no idea who Tommy is by the way!
As a kid growing up you learn all sorts and try all kinds of things and activities. Some you are forced into doing by the parental unit, other things you do because your buddies are doing them, some you see on TV and some you just want to try out anyway. As a kid I tried lots of things but the majority never stuck.
They never stuck for a variety of reasons.
My Dad was in the Cub Scouts when he was younger and so he wanted me to experience it. I think he thought it would be good for me. However, I heard stories that he once ran away from a Cub camping trip and caused all kinds of mayhem. So maybe he was just trying to encourage my mischievous side from an early age, although he told me it would give me various skills and make me a man.
So I went along to the Cubs begrudgingly. I turned up in my ‘civilian’ clothing as my Dad wouldn’t buy me a uniform just yet. I think it’s a kind of three visits and in type of thing. You have to go somewhere three times to prove your commitment and once you have you can have the uniform/equipment. I so wanted a Cub uniform though!!
There in the courtyard were lads that had been going a while, all adorned with badges for helping grannies or starting controlled fires, each proud of their individual Cub records. Very different from the lads I knew in school that had a different kind of record that included terrorising grannies and starting uncontrolled fires!
I felt increasingly out of my depth with this group of do-gooders. I didn’t know any of them and I didn’t really want to know any of them. I even went off the uniform and had no inclination to own one or wear one. I was the outsider in this circle of Cubs and it made me feel like a bear with a sore head! (See what I did there?!?!). All they seemed to do was stand in circles, chant some satanic ritual rubbish and award pointless badges for pointless deeds.
Suffice to say I went once and was thankful when my Dad came to pick me up. I told him straight that I didn’t want to go again, never again, and if I wanted to camp I would camp in the backyard with my mates and no uniform… well apart from the Batman T-Shirt everyone had to wear as part of the Batman club…
Funny story that, one lad didn’t have a Batman T-Shirt and so we wouldn’t play with him or let him in our gang… His Mum went out especially to buy him a Batman T-Shirt and turned up on the door step ranting about how he was now allowed in the gang! Kids can be cruel!!
And I call it ‘camping’ but all it consisted of was a blanket nicked from the spare room, some pegs to attach said blanket to the fence and some stones to hold the blanket at the bottom. Pretty crap looking back on it now, but at the time it was amazing – our own private Idaho!
I also went horse riding for around 6 to 12 months. This was now my Mum’s idea (I am sure she wanted a girl!). Horse riding was ok, I kind of enjoyed it. Although depending on which horse you had each Saturday morning depended on how much fear you had of horses.
One horse I often had was called Inky. It was grey with black patches here and there and it was a nutter of a horse! The fear in my eyes when my name was on the register next to Inky! You didn’t ride this horse you see, it took you for a ride! I always believed that the aim of this horse was to dismount the rider somehow – like a game it played in his head.
You would trot along the towpath and suddenly the bloody thing would stoop down to eat some grass. There was no warning, it would stop and stoop! When it wasn’t eating he would go at the pace he set and not what you commanded. So a trot turned into a canter whenever he felt like it and a canter turned into a stroll suddenly. I’m sure the bugger was smiling whilst I panicked, sat in the saddle shaking like a shite-ing dog!
After a few weeks of this and in the build up to "Let’s try some fence jumping in the next month" I pretty much lost the appetite and quit that also. Generally if I can’t do something first time or it’s deemed too hard I won’t stick to it for long.
I‘ve actually had a few girlfriends who think along similar lines!
My next attempt at finding a talent came in the form of keyboard lessons. 18 months this one lasted. 18 months of learning to play the electronic keyboard. Can I play a note now? Go on, ask the question… Well the answer is no. I can play ‘Chopsticks’ and that’s about it – and lets be honest you do not need 18 months of keyboard lessons to learn how to play ‘Chopsticks’!
Because I had gone to more than 3 weeks worth of lessons I actually got bought a keyboard. I then bought some stickers and lettered each key from C to G – I think – to help me follow the music. This was all well and good practising at home but when asked to bring our keyboards in I was ridiculed for having my keyboard lettered like that when I should "know the keys off by heart now".
It wasn’t even the fact that I spent the majority of the lesson acting like a clown that made me quit either. Even though it meant I didn’t learn anything. I remember getting into class first and turning the whiteboard over and drawing pictures of willies on the board only for the teacher to turn the board over half way through the lesson and the class erupted with laughter.
You would think I would have grown out of this, but even now in my 30’s I still draw willies everywhere!
The reason I quit was because I was finally put through to my exam and I chose to play ‘Take my Breath Away’ by Berlin. Made famous by Top Gun I believe.
Now I could play the tune with my right hand just fine. And I could play the chords with my left hand just fine. However the problem came when I had to play both hands simultaneously!! My right wouldn’t go at the same time as my left. So during the exam I played the tune first, then paused, then played the chords next, then paused, then played the tune again and so on… Naturally I failed the exam.
I realised I couldn’t multi task so that talent was out of reach and so ultimately that was something else that I quit. It didn’t help that a lad at school was self taught and could play all kinds of music without reading any sheet music! Bastard show off!
The one activity that brings most joy to my friends and family, not me of course, is gymnastics! Currently gymnastics is cool and having somewhat of a purple patch due to the Olympics and Louis Smith and co. When I took it up it was for girls only! And there lies the problem. So it became a deep, dark secret that I hid from everyone.
I used to go Saturday mornings and my Granddad would take me. As the class began we would start on the trampoline after a warm up and then move around the apparatus practising, ending the session with various rolls, tucks and somersaults.
I became half decent and very flexible truth be told, but as time wore on and I started hanging with bigger boys who played football and had girlfriends I got more embarrassed by my ‘hobby’ coming out in public! That isn’t a euphemism for anything by the way!
I say girlfriends by the way, but all you did was stand one side of the playground with the girl the other side just generally pointing her out to people stating she was your girlfriend. You never actually spoke to her or kissed or held hands or anything like that. I mean I had a girlfriend for 2 years and never spoke to her once!
I eventually quit gymnastics when a rumour went round that I wore a leotard on a weekend. I didn’t by the way, I was strictly a white vest and short shorts type of fella! This wasn’t one of those times where you do more than 3 lessons and need to get the uniform/equipment! The one thing I missed about gymnastics though was that my Granddad used to pick me up with my brother and would have a bag of sweets waiting for me or a Gold Bar and a can of Ben Shaw’s pop!
I can still pick up a stamp with my mouth without bending my legs though! So I got something out of it, you never know when that could come in handy!
So basically most of the things I tried lasted less than a year, some less than a week. I never really found my talent. I did play rugby for 7 years, but got sent off in a final for kicking, which we then lost, and my coach decided to make the following season a hard one for me, so I quit that too!
So I sit and I think that I am never going to find my talent, maybe I’m not naturally talented in fact. However there is one thing I am very good at indeed. It might not be classed as a talent as such. And most of my friends and colleagues can vouch for this – it is the art of sexual innuendo. I can pretty much turn any thought, sentence or situation into something dirty, smutty or sexual!
Granted this will not stand me in good stead at a job interview or anything like that, but it is a kind of talent none the less! One that I excel at in fact! So I am classing it as my talent!
You see every sentence I make could be construed as a sexual innuendo if you think long and hard about it!
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
I was shopping the other day and noticed a pack of hand reared sausages. How do you hand rear a sausage? I have this image of sausages skipping round a field on a farm in Suffolk. Some farmer and his helper trying to round them up using a Dachshund dog in much the same vein as a sheep dog!
Like me, some people have over active imaginations. Other people only like realism as they have no imagination. Some have street smart sense, some have common sense and some people just make no sense at all.
I have a house mate like that. For the sake of anonymity and legal reasons we’ll call him Fred!
Fred is a clever individual. He went to university, a proper one, not the University of Fyfe like I tell people I attended… Wait a min, I mean the University of Life! An easy mistake to make. He has also recently completed an MA. So he’s clever, he’s not Einstein clever, but has the qualifications to prove he should know what he’s talking about.
However, I am thinking schools and universities should start teaching common sense, real life situations, a life qualification, and you’re not allowed out into the big wide world until you’ve passed this. I mean you aren’t allowed to drive, even if you know how to, legally until you have the piece of paper that states you can drive.
Fred is one such person that shouldn’t have been allowed out in the open. I mean I am glad he has been allowed out as he provides endless hours of accidental humour. So much so that I have created two booklets of his phrases – the first volume was even sold for a charity event and raised over £60!
You always know what he means when he opens his mouth, but you still have to laugh. He once told me he had been talking to his cousin’s brother. Surely this would also be his cousin too, which it was, and so there was no need to add in the extra word ‘brother’, he could have summed it up much better by using just cousin in the first place.
And this isn’t the daftest thing he has said either.
He confuses things quite easily. He once saw a Jewish Chinese tribute act to Robbie Williams. He told me he thought it was funny as the wannabe Robbie act sung ‘Rock DJ’ in his turban. The only thing he’s missed there is homosexuality and then he would have ticked most of the boxes!
And he’s also full of ‘facts’ too. Like the ‘fact’ you can lock your car door from further away if you put the remote locking key to your head. Or the ‘fact’ that you can’t lick your elbow. This is actually a fact, I have tried it in private, but he showed an entire group – why would you randomly bring this up? Especially when it had nothing to do with the conversation at the time?!
He also told me that a lad he knew left his girlfriend for her twin sister. I asked if they were identical twins to which he replied "They look similar, but there are a few years between them". That must have been some pregnancy!!!
He has views on travel too. He only holidays in British places… like Tenerife!! Again, I know what he means, most people understand what he’s getting at, but it doesn’t quite make sense. When he’s abroad he only likes to eat English foods too, like Chinese! And the only curries he likes are Chinese curries and he doesn’t really like them either.
There are so many more examples of confusion, lack of common sense and general misunderstanding. Far too much to put in one place, it would take several posts to fully appreciate the bloke.
I now live with him though and where the fun ends and the ‘me-turning-into-my-Mum’ begins is a very fine line.
I found myself in the position of needing a housemate earlier this year. Fred travels quite a distance to work and so it made sense for him to move in.
Now he ain’t a bad housemate to have. He’s a salt of the earth kind of bloke. Y’know the type, his heart’s in the right place. It’s just a shame that he isn’t that house proud. I am you see. I have moments where I let things slide, but overall I am house proud, sometimes OCD about it in fact. I like things to be a certain way.
When you live with someone you find out their little habits. Some are endearing, most are irritating. I do have a low tolerance level, especially when tired, so those annoying little habits suddenly seem massive when faced with them day in day out.
He does cook, not for me, I don’t expect that, but generally he eats quite healthily – he eats non stop to be honest. I don’t cook. In fact it’s quite scary that as soon as I ring the local take away, they know my order before I say it and know my address straight away. In fact I get a Christmas card off of them each year – a kind of ‘thank you for keeping us in business’ type thing.
The problem when Fred cooks though is that he isn’t happy until he’s used every single pot, pan, utensil in the house. I mean he’s cooking for one but not even the army have as big a pile of washing up as he does afterwards.
And as for cleaning up after, well put it this way it isn’t to my standards! He leaves the George Formby Lean, Green, Fighting machine lathered in grease or herbs where he’s peppered his chicken breast. It can stand there for weeks until he decides the grease trap has solidified enough!
I find myself re-stacking the dishwasher after him, to ensure everything goes in and is cleaned properly. I go round with my 99.9% germ killing anti-bacterial spray and clean all the surfaces. I then walk into the living room and say "I’ve not been put on this earth to follow you round and clean up".
That’s when it hits me that I have become the woman in this relationship – I am turning into my Mum!!!
He will make his tea, put his fodder on a tray and then go sit on the couch or the floor armed with the salt shaker, the ketchup and sometimes the pepper. I sit there whilst he eats. And eats. And it’s very loud! He crunches, gurgles and slurps. It is like sitting in the middle of a treatment plant sometimes! I turn the TV up, so he sits and eats even louder.
Apparently he likes to eat little and often. It is more lots and constantly in my experience.
And in I walk after and hoover them all up or brush them into the bin, following him around like any good Mum would. I find myself ‘tutting’ loudly in his general direction. Tapping my foot and proclaiming again that I am not here to clean up after him.
I should draw the line at making him give me three rings when he goes out so I know he’s safe mind you!!
Then when you’re watching TV he’ll take his shoes off – and leave them where he took them off – and start rubbing his feet together rhythmically. The noise of hard, callous skin rubbing against hard, callous skin. If he kept it up he could start a fire. The noise puts my teeth right on edge!
Speaking of fire, he also left the iron on the other day! I went near it just before leaving the house and suddenly felt warmth. Maybe he is some secret assassin out to kill me? Either way I really shouldn’t have to follow him round to ensure my safety!
So, as a result, I nag.
We have become like a married couple and quite frankly that scares me. It has all the hallmarks of a couple who have been married for 40+ years. Very little talking, no sex life at all and all I do is nag! Not that I am looking for a sex life here folks. Fred isn’t my type, as in he has a penis! Well, I think he does, although thankfully I have never witnessed it so am just presuming.
It is getting to the point where I do the housework at the weekend, when he’s out, so that I have a moment where the house is spotless and I am happy and relaxed. Then when he returns I let him know exactly what I’ve done, because I know he won’t have noticed. He never notices! I am even rolling my eyes as I type this!
At what point did we go from Gary and Tony in Men Behaving Badly to Basil and Sybil in Fawlty Towers?
AND is it unfair to ask him to piss a little quieter? I am sat downstairs and he’s upstairs in the bathroom and it sounds like Victoria Falls coming through my ceiling? The pressure he must have built up in anticipation of the release is immense!!
The problem isn’t that he isn’t a good house mate, even though the above suggests that is the case. The real problem why all this really gets to me is because, by living with Fred, I have realised what a bitch I am! I have realised I have become some kind of bored housewife (not even the decent porn kind either!), some kind of nagging wife, some kind of mother figure to Fred (and I am younger!). This doesn’t sit well with me at all. I have encapsulated years of marriage into 10 short months of living with each other!
I need to stop letting it get to me. I need to start relaxing a bit more… I need to get out more! In fact in the words of Fred "We’ll be here until we go at this rate!"
So, for my own sanity, I need to go…
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
I went to make a brew at work and I noticed the anti-bacterial spray, as you do. In big letters it stated quite proudly that it kills 99.9% of germs. Why is this a good thing? There is still room for improvement, so I wouldn’t go shouting about it! Why can’t they make a spray that kills 100% of germs? With todays modern science is that not possible? That 0.01% could be lethal!!
Not that I live in fear of these germs. I generally don’t live in fear of anything. Apart from spiders! They are just plain scary! It isn’t the fact that I find them hideous or anything, it’s just when they move! I find it hard to control 2 legs, let alone 8 and they can pick up some speed! Shudder!
Jew Boy once chased me with a spider and I screamed like a girl. I screamed so loud in fact, that the chef in the kitchen of the pub where we were at came out with a large serving spoon thinking a murder was happening.
A little old dear did come out and offer members of the family a cup of tea to help with the shock.
How does tea help by the way?
I was only 3rd party fire and theft insured too. Just my luck!
So just remember, fear is a state of mind but paranoia is not paranoia when the house is really out to get you!