Yeah, We Call Him Buzz

May 26, 2015

There’s a news story on the sidebars of the BBC website which states that a man covered in bees has set a new World Record. If you click into the story, it goes on to say that the man was covered in 109kg of bees (which, frankly, is a ridiculous amount of bees) when he set the record.

It doesn’t say what the record is.

I assume it’s for being covered in more bees than is considered normal. But it might not be. He might have set a record for the most jumpers worn at once and the bees were just an incidental part of it all. Like he turned up covered in bees and someone said, “Hey, are you doing a bee-based record?” and he was quite offended because he just hangs out with 109kgs of bees for fun and is fed up of people assuming he’s really into wearing bees like clothes.

The thing with being covered iin a fuckton of bees is.. well, how do you get there. How does it start? You go around with one bee on your, maybe on your head or something, and before long you’re thinking about a second bee. Like with tattoos. I’ve heard people say – having no tattoos myself for fear of the fact that if I lost weight it would look like someone had drawn on a balloon that had then deflated – that once you’d had one you’re hooked. And it must be the same with bees. You’re up to bees, then three. Before you know it you’re stealing to fund your black market honey habits trying to entice more bees.

Your partner is getting suspicious because you’re coming home a little bit sticky, and what’s that? Pollen? On your collar? What they hell is going on? And then it spirals out of control and she leaves you and you turn to the hard stuff. You know, hornets and wasps, trying to get your fix of yellow and black stripy bastards…

And then before you know it you’re being celebrated because you’re cover in 109kg of bees.

It’s amazing how quickly these things get out of hand.


May 25, 2015

My parents came over today, for their customary monthly rant about living with my grandma. In the 39 months that this has been going on, my mother has started dropping F-bombs left, right and centre. It’s mind-blowing.

Anyway, they came over. We chatted for a while. They left.

And then I spent the next thirty minutes or so fending off a very affectionate cat called Toby.

I know. That sounds completely the opposite of what you’d think I’d do. After all, I am all for luring a cat into the house like a witch with a gingerbread house in a fairy story, but Toby is different. For starters, I know he’s called Toby because he has a collar, with his name on and a contact number. Were we to take Toby in, we’d have to remove the collar and, in some way, convince Toby’s real owners that some fate had befallen him which just left the collar, bloodied and torn. Or cut and covered in ketchup. Yes, cat blood smells of tomatoes. It’s a little known fact.

Toby pretty much wanted to come in. I had to stand on the doorstep like a bouncer, moving in front of him every time he sauntered too close to the door – which was open because we were trying to get a mewing Peppa back into the house. And failing. She stayed rigid on the grass, while Toby just more-or-less meandered in. And then just sat on the doorstep and wouldn’t leave. Liike a furry, meowing Jehovah’s Witness.

And then when we thought he had gone, he actually hadn’t, and came and sat on the fence. And tried to climb me and…

… well, had he not clearly already got an owner he’d be sitting on my lap as I typed this.

While I Was Sleeping

May 24, 2015

I fell victim to the armchair this afternoon.

Carole was out at a Civil War reenactment thingy in Bridlington, so I had the house to myself for the day. A day, I had promised myself, in which I would sit down and spend some quality time with Witcher 3 – a new game which I bought myself as a birthday present this week. I’ve dipped in and out of it over the past couple of days – an hour or two here and there – but it’s one of those games that rewards a longer play.

So, yaay, I could do that today.

And, I won’t lie, I was looking forward to it. So after I’d done the obligatory stay in bed while preparations for leaving the house are made by your beloved, I leapt from the duvet cocoon, put on some clothes, shoved some dirty washing in the washing machine, made a coffee and got down to it.

And lo, it was good.

But, alas and alack, I was sitting in the armchair.

The armchair which possesses powers similar to the duvet which resides in the front room during the winter months so we can snuggle under it and not pay for heating! If it was a supervillain, the armchair would be able to render all opponents unconscious in little to no time at all, without them realising what had happened.

At all.

They’d just come round, a while later, with a dribble-stained chin and – in my case – a game over screen showing that I had, in some way, met my match while sleeping. I don’t know how. I can only imagine. It might have been wolves, or ghouls. Or a griffin. Or that spectre in the graveyard that’s just a little bit (a lot) too strong for me at the moment. I don’t know what it was. All I know is that I was dead. And I had lost whatever progress I had made before the armchair got hold of me, sent me into slumber and left me sleep controlling.

Yeah, that’s what I do.

I know I do it because I’ve caught myself doing it, when I’ve been woken up by a rumble.

I just nod off and tilt the control stick so that my character, or whatever it may be I am controlling at the time, moves ever forward.

Until they die. Or just end up running into a wall for ages. Or run into a wall and then die. Or crash. Or…

Yeah, I didn’t quite get as much playing done as I planned!


May 23, 2015

I don’t know much about cars. When I say I don’t know much, what I mean is that I know nothing. I don’t have a favourite type, or a favourite speed, or whatever it is that people who like cars have that makes them like cars so much. I don’t lust after a certain model, or care how long it takes to go from 0 to 60. I don’t drive. Cars interest me about as much as something that I am not interested in can interest me.

Having said that, give me the opportunity to watch one being taken apart and put back together on TV and I am there. I will be transfixed for however long it takes. I will barely move, I will hang on their every word. I will worry that they’re over-budget, or that they’re not going to be able to shift the car for a profit. Or even at all. I worry about all those things, and I find the mechanics of the actual build fascinating. But I don’t care about cars. And I have no desire to take one apart myself. Or put one together. Or any of that.

Which is maybe why I don’t understand what’s currently happening in out street.

Diagonally across from us is a house occupied by a boy racer. He loves his cars. He tinkers with them. He takes bits off and puts them back on. He sits in his car for an hour during the winter, running the engine and smoking a joint. He really likes his cars. He’s currently working on a yellow one. I don’t know what type. It’s just yellow.

He’s got the front bumper off and he’s doing things with it. It’s up on jacks. It’s all very industrious.

But I don’t get it.

I don’t understand why, if he’s just fannying about with the bumpers, why he keeps needing to get in the car and rev the absolute shit out of it. He’s not even touching the, erm, the broomy part. Engine. The engine. He’s just doing the bumper. I mean, it’s taking a long time. I bet Q from James Bond spends less time titting about with bumpers and he has rockets and machines guns in his. But he’s not touching the engine, so why keep on revving it? That’s like me saying I’m going to tighten the nuts on the table (I am, it’s like typing with my laptop resting on top of a shitting dog in an earthquake) and turning the lamp on and off to make sure it still works.


I don’t get cars.


May 22, 2015

Two youths got on the bus tonight
Just full of malcontent
And then they came upstairs and sat
And loudly had to vent.

“That f’ing driver, what’s his beef?”
Said one to the other
“He complained about my ticket, man”
“What that jumped up little mother…”

“What’s wrong with it, he asked me
And I was like fuck you..
He wanted to see the bottom half
‘cos I’d folded it in two.”

“I showed him all the proper stuff
Like the date and time and that.
But he wanted it unfolded, man
I can’t be arsed, the twat.”

“Unfolding a bus ticket?
No way man, fight the power!
And we’re a pair of stroppy youths
So we can just stare and glower.”


May 21, 2015

A long, long time ago when I was still at University and Leeds had a Laser Quest somewhere out of town past the train station – somewhere where you both knew where it was and were convinced you were lost at the same time – I played in the arcades there. There was a game in which you rode a ghost train, firing a gun at a variety of spooks and ghouls for points. And points equaled tickets. And tickets equaled prizes.

Now, I generally can’t resist an arcade at the best of times. I am, at my core, a gamer. I always have been and I always will be. And there’s nothing a gamer likes more than some kind of nonsensical reward. Like Xbox Gamerscore, Playstation Trophies or… tickets dispensed from a tiny slot, which you can then feed into a different slot, cash them in and buy tat with.

So, way back when, I played on this ghost train thing, and I got the Jackpot. I shot a ghost that appeared once in the entire game for a very, very short period of time. If anyone asks, I’ll totally say I played for – and got – it. That it was entirely planned. It wasn’t. And as I stood waiting for the machine to pump out what seemed like an endless stream of tickets, I stood there just looking foolish.

I bought a Taz toy with the tickets, and gave it to someone at Uni as a birthday present.


So yesterday, while enjoying a birthday run at the arcade machines, we hit upon a place full of ticket dispensing marvels. Tests of skill, luck, patience and randomosity for everyone. And they were offering Minions, from the new Minions movie, as rewards. Woohoo.

300 tickets, or there abouts, would get us a minion. We got there pretty swiftly, to be honest, with deft skills at throwing balls into milk churns. And then we had some tickets left over. So we figured we might as well go for a second minion. So we did. We were twenty tickets short of the second minion, and looking for games which would give us a low ticket yield – we didn’t want copious amounts of leftovers. Just a second minion, a handful of spare tickets and a spring in our step.

I opted to go on a game of skill in which you drop a bouncing ball onto a spinnig disk. I figured that I would get the ball in the large, low value holes, rack up 20 tickets and we’d be off.

But the arcade gods who had smiled on me so favourably way back when were out in force again. First ball, I got two tickets. 18 left to get.

Second ball lights up. I release it. Straight into the jackpot hole. The jackpot hole is just barely wider than the ball, thus making in a challenge to land a ball in. My ball didn’t even touch the sides. Straight in. No messing.

I won ten times as many tickets as we actually needed.

There was only one thing for it…

We needed to get a third Minion.

And this is why we can never, ever, ever, go to Las Vegas.

Terrible By

May 20, 2015

I’ve had an idea that could revolutionise the food industry.

It came to me tonight, as I was making myself some sandwiches with bread that is best before today. I know full well that the bread will be perfectly fine tomorrow and that if push came to shove, I probably couldn’t say if the bread was better or worse than it was today (or even yesterday). Even if you put a gun to my head and made me eat it. If anything, in that situation I’d be a little bit freaked out at your over-reaction to me using out-of-date bread and/or the way I eat a sandwich.

So, the best before date is all well and good. But it’s a guide. It’s not a definitive line in the sand. You can chance it with a yoghurt, for example, that’s a day or so past its best without the fear that the following day you’re going to shit out all your insides in one fell swoop.

So, how about introducing “Terrible by” dates?

That way you have a cushion between the best before date and a date when you know your food is going to be inedible for some reason.

I know that some products have a “display until” and “use by” date on, but that doesn’t really count. That’s just designed to keep stock rotating in supermarkets. The use by date is basically just a best before date with a little bit more attitude. But a Terrible By date – well you’d know when the bread you were going to eat for your lunch tomorrow would contain more penicillin that Alexander Fleming’s best wet dream. It would stop us wasting food. It would force people who are snobs about best before dates to embrace a new system.

It might not be at its best, but it’s not terrible.

For example:-

Paul McCartney (Beatles) —> Paul McCartney (Frog Chorus) —-> Paul McCartney (Olympics)

Frog Chorus is the best before date. there’s a window between then and the Olympics where stuff wasn’t as good as it could have been but was at least palatable. And then there’s the Olympics.

Now if you apply that to bread, and not an aging singer with dubiously coloured hair then you can see how you could benefit from it. In the buffer zone twixt Best Before and Terrible By you might just have to accept the fact that your sandwich would be ok, but you’d have to use a lot more spit and mastication to eat it.

I think it’s a winner.

And I’ll think that tomorrow while I’m chewing through an ever-so-slightly stale cheese and ham sandwich, you just see if I don’t.


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