March 31, 2016

If I was ever considering striking up a conversaton with anyone on the bus which, let’s face it, I think we all know I never am, then I don’t think I would start it the way I heard a conversation start today.

There was some conversational foreplay beforehand, in which the man and woman had an awkward moment when he inadvertantly touched her with his hand, which he proceeded to hang over the back of her seat for the rest of the journey. But essentially the conversation started like this.

“‘ere, did you see the size of that fucking rat?”

Now, it was not established whether the rat was indeed fucking, or if this was just a word stuck in to carry across the enormity of the rodent in question.

Now, my ears pricked up during this conversation, because I recognised the man’s voice. And you’ll be thrilled to know it was the guy who fell asleep and then awoke with great aplomb last week wondering where he was.

He fell asleep again today, with his arm over the back of the woman-in-front’s seat. Clearly the discussion about the size of the rat “over by where McDonalds used to be” tired him out and he needed a nap to really consider what he’d seen. “If was as big as a fuckin’ cat” he said. Again, he didn’t specify…

I think, though, there’s a chance he fell asleep mid-conversation (or, more technically, monologue after he shushed the woman for implying the rat had been dining on McDonald’s when it’s clearly no longer there) as he just kind of stopped what he was saying. And having encountered him on the bus before, he doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who just stops talking – even if it’s clear no-one’s listening to him.


Static Cinematic Aromatic

March 30, 2016

The queue at the cinema was at such a length tonight that the manager came and gave a little speech. It was primarily about not abusing his staff, as clearly someone in the queue had been a complete twat and been ejected from the building. But the speech also carried subtext as well. That subtext being “If you don’t like it busy, then please fuck off and try again a different day.”

When we got to the till we were served by the manager who (under Carole’s interogations) revealed that the cinema is the busiest one in the country. Busier than those in London and wherever else cinemas of that ilk are to be found. And much, much smaller. So, you know, I think his secret hidden message that everyone who wanted to complain pissed off out of it was sort of justified.

Because it was a weird queue.

For starters, someone was farting like there was no tomorrow. Which, if they kept farting like that, there may not have been. The whole building would have had to be sealed off until the gases disappaited, which could have been good in one way – while trapped there, they would have had no choice but to let us see as many films as we wanted. You know, to keep the unruly mob under some sort of control.

There was also a man, a couple of people in front of us, eating a lot of sweetcorn from a large tuperware container using a fork. Yeah, that happened. Just sweetcorn, as far as I could see. Lots and lots of sweetcorn. As sweetcorn goes through the body more-or-less intact, I can only assume that his waste products would resemble an actual reassembled corn on the cob, probably without the leaves.

It may well have been him with the digestive issue.

Maybe he was eating sweetcorn as a sort of dietary bookmark, so he could track the activity of his colon. Like a game of Pooh sticks (or, more correctly, poo sticks) that Gillian McKeith could really get behind. When you see yellow, give us a bellow… you know, that kind of thing.

Actually, maybe I will pitch that as a game show for ITV2 or some other wacky cool channel.



March 29, 2016

I’m sorry Mr Bus Driver
That I wasn’t at the stop
When you pulled up in your bus
And I leapt on with a hop.

I’m sorry Mrs Tesco Shopper
That I was in your way
When rather than “Excuse me”
You sort of growled my way.

The Tuesday after Easter
Is full of grumpy folk
So I’m using these poetic words
And lo, some fun I’ll poke.

To the bus driver who frowned at me
You were early as it was
So I don’t see why I should feel bad
Or think of saying soz.

And to the woman there in Tesco
Well you were just plain rude
Growling at other shoppers
So you could get your food.

I rolled my eyes at both of you
Tried to be the better man
Now I’m complaining about you poetically
And hoping it will scan.

No-one likes this Tuesday
It’s a crap day to go back
But don’t take it out on me, you two
Just give your moods some slack.

Labouring Under A Misunderstanding

March 28, 2016

One of the fun elements of the Sky News app is the click bait at the bottom of every story.Some of them, as I have mentioned before, are terribly inappropriate for the news story above it. But all of them, without fail, are bollocks.

Tonight, as I was browsing the latest round of what the fudge is wrong with the world, I spotted a story that said “Coronation Street actress in labour during live episode”.

So I clicked on it. Because, you know that shit is going to be good.

Now, there are two ways you can interpret this headline. One of them – the one where the actress is actually in the live episode of Corrie when she goes into labour – is far more exciting than the other one.

So, obviously, this story is about the other one.

It’s a story about an actress who is or has been in Coronation Street going into labour at home while watching a live episode of the soap.

No, seriously. That’s what the story is.

But it has made me wonder if there’s a niche market for stories about what stars of shows do while the shows they are in are on.

I think, inbetween breeding funereal zebras, I might set up a website purely for that and then just start trying to find out what people do. I mean, someone going in labour while watching a show they’re not actually in at the time but have been in previously… that’s the biggest revelation since a magazine revealed that Kelly Brook makes her own sandwichs (one of my favourite celebrity diet tips ever, incidentally).

The internet needs this shit.

I am going to deliver.


March 27, 2016

I can’t be the only one who is becoming increasingly disappointed with Easter Eggs.

I got a Creme Egg egg from work. Now, I remember a time when you would get one of these and there would be multiple creme eggs contained within the packaging. But now, it appears, we are allowed just the one.

And then when you get to the egg, even that is no longer as brilliant as it used to be.

There used to be a time when you could snap the chocolate of an egg with satisfaction. In some cases, the chocolate was thick enough that you could even consider attacking it with some sort of implement to break through the chocolatey goodness and make it into nibble sized chunks.

Alas, 2016 does not see that sort of chocolate fare.

Instead you’re treated to a thin, flimsy egg which doesn’t snap so much as bend until it’s just hand enough. It’s thin and soft and, frankly, rubbish.

I know that, somewhere, the reason for the changes in eggs has come about partly because of the obesity epidemic which the media likes to scare everyone with and the fact that supermarkets practically give the eggs away these days, so it’s not actually cost effective to waste your best chocolating skills and multiple included extras on something which is going to sell for a pound.

And then the selling them for a pound makes it more likely that you’ll buy more and eat more, especially because the chocolate’s so crap anyway and you feel like you’ve been short changed, which then feeds the obesity thing which then puts you right back at square one.

Chocolate people might as well just go back to the days of thick eggs and decent inclusions, and supermarkets might just as well go back to selling them for slightly more. The outcome’s going to be the same either way.

But at least the old-fashioned way had a bit of satisfaction to it…

Proper Charlie

March 26, 2016

I read some of the Daily Mail online today.

I felt dirty just doing it, but admitting to it is even worse. People who read this will now be judging me. I won’t be able to show my face in public without suffering the shame of people knowing that I have taken in some words from one of the worst newspapers this country has to offer.

The reason I read it was because there was an article about Charlie Dimmock, carrying the headline “You won’t believe how much Charlie Dimmock has changed since Ground Force” or something similar.

Now, Ground Force finished, what, ten years ago. So already there’s a reasonable chance something will have changed in the past decade. Essentially, what it boils down to is that she’s put on weight. That’s the gist of the story.

Now I read this because, back in the day, I had a soft spot for Ms Dimmock. To the extent that I wrote her a letter, care of the Beeb, which resulted in me getting a signed photo which I used to have up on the wall. I don’t actually know where that picture is, anymore.   have a vague idea where it may be, but if it isn’t there then it has, alas, gone the way of the signed picture of the lovely Sarah Sutton (Nyssa from Doctor Who in the 80s) which has also vanished.

My letter to Charlie was written after an episode aired in which the dynamic trio and Willy made-over a garden in bitterly cold weather. In the letter I said I was worried about them working in the cold and, in what I thought was a very generous offer, said that if that situation arose again my letter could be burnt to provide heat. And for that I got a signed photo of Charlie, complimenting me on my hilarious letter.

So I was interested to see how much she had changed since Ground Force. And, as I say, essentially she’d just put on weight. But, you know what, fuck it – she still looked as happy and fun as she always used to look. Sometimes I don’t think I look at these things in the right way – it’s like those adverts for gum disease where an attractive woman stands in front of a mirror and takes off her make-up before popping out her false tooth/teeth and lifting up her lips to reveal the – obviously hideous – gap in her teeth. All I see is a woman who is still attractive but just doesn’t have all her teeth.

But it was the way the Daily Mail went about the piece that annoyed me. Look how much she’s changed, they roared at the top of the page. Before doing what they normally do when you read articles online with the Mail, filling it with hundreds of photos and about four lines of text. The text centred on the exploits of Ground Force back in the day, and how Alan, Tommy and Charlie were all at this launch of something that I have forgotten about because I was too busy waiting for all the pictures to load.

Now, most of the pictures were Ground Force-era Dimmock. And then, at the bottom were a couple of present day-Dimmock. No mention was made, in the body of the article (if you can even call the drivel there an article) of any change in weight or physical appearance, apart from the headline. But the pictures carried variations of the caption “Dimmock has not appeared on television since” which, when you looked at them in the article came across as a little bit catty. Like they almost may as well have said “Who’d want to see her on TV now?”

Like I say, she still looked like she’d be a good laugh. Maybe I’ll write to her again, but this time print off the Daily Mail article and suggest she burns that for heat…


Breaking Dad

March 25, 2016

Since dad died, things have been different. Obviously. That goes without saying. A big chuck of our lives has gone and we have to carry on.

Except what we seem to be doing is carrying on by breaking things.

Mum managed to break a chair just by sitting on it.

I went through a plank on the decking – although, to be fair, there is clear evidence that dad replaced the planks on either side fairly recently, so he’d clearly disappeared through a couple himself and just mended them on the quiet.

And today we – and by we I mean I – managed to be in the vicinity when his fancy four-way hosepipe adapter thing went kaput.

I don’t know how we do it. It’s like a gift. It’s like we’re breaking one thing a week, just to keep us busy.

I can glue the chair – in fact, I already have glued it once but, clearly, it requires more glue and stronger clamping. I can mend the decking, once I can locate some decking planks in the garage. And then once I can locate a workbench. And a saw. Oh, and then the power screwdriver to remove the old plank and pop in the new one. And probably some screws. None of that is easy. But it is doable. Eventually. Once we can work out the system in the garage.

But the four-way tap thing is just knackered. And, I’ll be honest, I feel terrible about it. I even went into the garage and muttered my apologies to the rafters because, honestly, if there’s any kind of higher existence post-death (which there isn’t, let’s be fair, but it’s occasionally nice to think there is) then my dad is becoming increasingly frustrated at the stuff we’re trashing.

Mum and me were joking that he was watching us in the garden, muttering that we were cutting things wrongly or using the wrong tool for the job. I can only imagine how disgusted he is at the way I’ve hung the hosepipe back up after I finished pressure washing (my new favourite thing, replacing steam cleaning) the decking and cladding. But if he is watching he should know that I have never been able to wind up the hose the way he did. No matter how hard I try.

And I tried three times today.

Three times.

I’m not even sure that the third attempt is better than the first or second. If you look at the hoses, its so clear which one my dad hung and which one was recently put there by a clueless fool.

Even my mum said it looked terrible. And she’s worse at it than I am.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to scour the internet for a four-way tap-to-hose connection thingy. I assume that’s what they’re called.