coops: October 2004 <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d8208936\x26blogName\x3dcoops\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://ukcoops.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_GB\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://ukcoops.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3040004322823276234', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script><!-- --><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><form id="b-search" action="http://www.google.com/search"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="ordinary-cookies.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_search.gif" alt="Search" value="Search" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} --></script><div id="space-for-ie"></div><!-- --><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><form id="b-search" action="http://www.google.com/search"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="lovelurve.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/1/btn_search.gif" alt="Search" value="Search" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- --></script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>

October 31, 2004

I Stevie Wonder about dreams

I’ve always wondered how Stevie Wonder could write and sing about the ‘beautiful’ women or ‘wonderful’ trees. I mean, he is blind after all. So then I started to think that maybe he dreams about these women and trees. Then again, do blind people dream, and if they do, what do they see? Then I confused myself even more. Ok let’s say blind people can see in their dreams. If Stevie did see that women sitting on a tree how would he know what a woman and a tree looked like to understand it?

Now if you believe the research that has been carried out you learn that people that were blind from birth cannot see in their dreams whereas people with vision up to the age of five for example can seem images in their dreams. Apparently this is because blind people from birth people lack the rapid eye movements associated with dreaming.

So that’s cleared up. Well sort of. You could argue who cares if blind people can see in their dreams or not. I mean what is the point of dreaming? In my experience you always miss the ending when the alarm goes off. If it’s a great dream you wake up and feel depressed that you have come back to reality. If it’s a bad dream it’s like watching a bad movie with you in it. But possibly the most annoying things about dreams is that they make absolutely no sense at all.

I was treated to a trilogy last night. First of all I decided to go to a house in Amsterdam in the middle of hostage seize. Despite the fact that twelve hostages were killed and there were men in black shooting very large automatic weapons at me I did not seem the least bit concerned about hiding. Then the police stormed the building and there were drugs everywhere. This was quickly followed by the moment of complete nonsense I was talking about. Apparently I was moving into the house that day and was cursing my luck that of all days I could have moved, I had decided to move in that day. I mean it was going to take ages to clear out the bodies and tidy up the bullet holes. I hate moving!

So that was my first delight. Well thanks. Thanks for waking me up at 5.30am – it didn’t even have a good ending. So it went from the violent to the extreme. Without even remembering the credits I find myself on the steps next to the beach taking pictures. Not taking pictures of the sea, the beach or even people, but stairs. Amazing I had convinced a friend of mine to video me taking pictures of the stairs. I can tell what you are all thinking ‘What happens next?’. Well I see some car keys on the side. Yes not the ending you are expecting I know, but films should have a twist. They were Alfa Romeo keys, which is the only thing that makes any sense because I own one.

Unfortunately for me I missed the ending on this. Like most boring films I fell awake. It was 6am now and I decided to catch one more before I went awake. I was on a station waiting for a train to Italy, as you do. I had got there really early. I mean I did not want to miss the train to Italy after all. Just as the train was pulling up I lost my shoes! What are the chances of that? I mean you can miss a train for all sorts of reasons, your car doesn’t start, the bus is late, you overslept. I can just imagine it now, I get to Italy two days late to see this dream (excuse the pun) girl I’m meant to be meeting and say “Sorry I am late, I lost my shoes on the platform when the train was coming”. I know men do give some bullshit excuses to women at times, but at least this was original. So I know you are all waiting to know whether I caught the train or not. Did get on shoeless? Was I wearing matching socks? Did I find them in time? The answer is that would be telling. I mean the dream would have to tell me first for me to tell you. I fell awake with excitement. I’ll going to tune in tonight and if there is anything better on, hopefully not any damn repeats.

Must go. I have just recieved an email from Dr.Benson Obabu who contacted me from the Burkina Faso chambers. My luck is really going well this week! It's the second email saying they want my bank account details so they can give me money! If this is the last you hear please understand that being 25,600 000.00 USD richer will change my personal circumstances somewhat. I would forward you the email so you can give your bank details as well but I feel Dr.Benson Obabu has chosen me for a reason. Hope you understand.

October 27, 2004

The Wonderful world of temping

Since coming back from travelling I have experienced the world of temping. I have since learnt some valuable lessons on this subject. It all starts when they call you about jobs they have on offer:-

“A great little family company” actually means

A company run by a bloke who inherited the company when his dad died. As a result he has not got a clue. He employees a secretary to flirt with and employees people around him who earn considerably less than him but know considerably more

“They are only down the road from you” actually means

Well ten roads actually, and rather long ones at that. This normally involves travelling through the worst traffic black spot in the country.

“It’s a great little office to work in” actually means

They give you your own chair to sit on. Plus it’s air conditioned. With a fan.

“A flexible hourly pay” actually means

Flexible to them. You start to think what you used to earn before. You then look at the minimum wage. Well at least you are earning more than the minimum wage. Then again I didn’t factor in the tax. Ok, I would be actually earning less than someone with two stars at McDonalds.

“There is a possibility for longer term work”

Well that is if Doris does not come back from maternity leave or Steve who has been signed off sick for the last three months due to stress, does a runner.

“It’s a data entry position”

You never get exciting data entry to do. I know I won’t be entering the names and addresses of all the Rich and Famous from a sheet of Rich and Famous people into a database of Rich and Famous people. It’s never data entry on it’s own – inevitably you will be used a generally dogs body as well.

Despite all my misgivings today was time for a new positive approach. The phone went.

“Hello Rich, we have position in Christchurch today, 4-8pm data entry for a good company. Can you make it?”. My head said yes, my heart said no. It was hardly worth getting off my seat for, but in an attempt to please my consciousness I said “of course, what’s the pay like?. I could tell by her voice it’s was nearer two star McDonald’s than five star waiter. No be positive. “So where about in Christchurch is the job?” I enquired. “Hurn” was the reply. Now I practically live in Christchurch and Hurn most definitely is not in Christchurch. It’s like RyanAir saying Stanstead is in London or Hahn is in Frankfurt. Ok, so the job is actually seven miles away. Still it’s a job.

I left with thirty minutes to spare. I then forgot. Road works. I was in a traffic black spot. I’ll just go a little bit faster. Ten minutes late. I enter the isolated building of a well known parcel delivery company. I took my seat and made the observations that I normally do when I walk into a new office.

There was no water machine, just coffee stained cups that people have brought from home. I could imagine the arguments now of “Who stole my Milk!” or “Has somebody got MY cup?”. As nobody could see to me immediately they said I could help myself to a hot drink. How the hell I was supposed to do that? I mean the lady at the agency had said ‘wear shirt and trousers’, she said nothing about me bringing my own chipped mug, supply of two day old milk and two teabags. I also noticed the tea tray. It wasn’t company standard embossed with company logo. It was someone’s personal tin tray along with flowered logo. Keep well away.

Then a voice came. “It was meant to be a data entry job…… but the data entry stuff hasn’t arrived yet”. This sounds familiar. Instead I was to put stickers on envelopes. If only I hadn’t missed that lesson at University or been off sick the day they did that ‘How to stick stickers on envelopes’ course at work. You learn by your mistakes. As with all these types of jobs, clocks suddenly appear from nowhere to remind you just how boring the job you are doing is. I started to play ‘eye spy’ with clocks. There was one on the computer, one on the wall, one on the desk. Just block them out. “And the time is Twenty past four” said the radio in the background. “Jenny, what time is it” came the voice behind me. I may as well be working in a watch shop it was so bad.

It could be worse. I could be coming back everyday.










October 26, 2004

Family tree's and falling Mayors

In my younger years I always wondered what a family tree was. Was it in our garden and what did it look like? And what happened when we moved? Did we take it with us? Why did people spend so long asking other people about something that was in our garden? Was that why my mum spent so much time out there? And how could dad use that chainsaw on something that people spent so long looking at? What about when the dog pissed up against it? Why did nobody tell him off?

With progression of age I developed something called common sense. Of course it wasn’t the tree in the back garden. I was to learn of course that it was the tree that mum bought in December, the one that we put all the presents under at Christmas.

Recently I discovered that a few family members were trying to create a history of the Heathcote family, my mum’s side. I’m still undecided on the matter. Maybe people who do this do it because they are interested in the history aspect? Maybe an ancestor was a famous Duke or notorious villain? Maybe they could inherit a fortune? On the other hand, and most likely, they have got far too much time on their hands, choosing to spend hours in the library sitting in the birth and death section. Personally when I found out that Cooper’s were originally barrel makers I lost all interest.

There was one positive to come out of this exercise. Apparently my great, great, great Grandad was the Lord Mayor of London. Yes Sir Gilbert Heathcote was the man in 1711. Now nothing really interesting about that I hear you think? Well I have given him the credit of passing down the ‘drinking too much when you shouldn’t’ gene. Up until my great granddad bloke was Mayor, it was tradition through the centuries that the Mayor should ride by horse back whilst on parade throughout the streets of the capital. Trust Mr Heathcote to end this fine tradition. He fell off his horse after drinking too much and broke his leg. From that point on all future Lord Mayors had to ride in a carriage.

I can sleep better tonight.

October 24, 2004

Emails from Nigeria

I received an email from From Dr Uchenna today. It was one of those emails that made me feel really good, he said he was looking for “an honest and trustworthy Foreigner who will assist in ensuring the successful transfer of the above sum into a personal/company account”. Even though I do not know this man personally I’m amazed that my reputation is so good that it has filtered all the way to Nigeria. It’s amazing how your fortune can turn by receiving just one email. Apparently I am due 30% of any money that is transferred into my account. How good is that? I just need to send off my bank Name, contact address and my account number where the money will be remitted. How easy is that?

Of course not.

What is it with junk mail? Ok we get junk mail through our letterboxes but we can choose not to open that. I mean if I get a white envelope with a free pen sticking out of it, I know it’s probably from some life insurance company and not from my pen pal. If I get a letter with ‘to the occupier’ on the front I know it’s probably from some credit card company. I mean if they can’t be bothered to find out my name, I can’t be bothered to lift it from my door mat.

So if I don’t get worked up about junk mail coming through my door, why do I get worked up about junk mail being delivered to me via Mr Hotmail? I mean all I have to do is delete it right?

Well to start with when I turn on my pc and my messenger tells me I have 4 new messages. Great! Who could they be from? Could it be the lottery telling me I have won the jackpot? Could it be from the agency telling me I have got that interview? Maybe it’s from that nice girl who I met in London who has finally come to her senses and emailed me? No. It’s from Dr Ukena whatever his face his called.

After getting over the disappointment of realising I am not a millionaire with a new job and in the process of arranging a date, I then start to wonder how this person or machine thing actually chose my email along with a million others to send this email. Was it some form I filled in? Is it because I’ve got a hotmail address? And now they have got my hotmail address does that mean they will continue to plague me with emails?

But the thing that really gets me is that people ACTUALLY fall for email cons like this. The U.S security department receives twenty calls from people a week saying that have fallen for such hoaxes. Yes people have actually handed money over to the likes of Dr Uchenna and his buddies.

Must go. 1 new message. I think it’s Svetlana from Russia. Hopefully she will have liked the money I sent her for her hip operation. Bless her.

October 20, 2004

Music

I started a discussion in the pub the other day. “What is your top ten songs of all time?”. You can argue your corner as much as you want. But at the end of the day it will be completely different to the next person. It’s not just because people like different styles of music, it’s because music is so personal.

If someone says “That’s a really good song” is it because it sounds really good and is catchy, or is it because the lyrics or really good? I feel guilty because I don’t have a clue what the lyrics are to my top ten songs. They could be devil worshiping for all I know or taking the piss out of me for not knowing what I am hearing. Personally, I couldn’t care less about the lyrics. If you have a great sounding song with good words then that’s a bonus.

Another argument always follows. What makes a good live act? Is it where they interact with the audience all night and do original things, or actually sound like they can sing?

Anyway, my top fifty songs are all dominated by the way they sound. Songs that do not get boring after ten plays. But more importantly to me, songs define certain moments in your life. Without songs you would not remember half the things you did, be good or bad. For example:-


Banco de Gaia - Last train to Lhasa

On a Geography field trip to France in 1994 I really fancied a girl called Casey. She was bit of a hippy but I made excuses to sit next to her. So my ploy was to listen to her songs on her walkman. I said I really liked it trying to get in there, but in reality I thought it was a bid weird. I listened to this one song whilst driving through some beautiful mountains. Annoying enough after the trip I realised I really liked the music but Casey had left. I spent the next six years looking for the album. One day whilst walking in country park I sat on a bench, there was a fading sticker with the album on it. I ordered it from America the next day


Pete Murray - so beautiful

Passing a pub in Cairns I heard this song. This was typical Aussie waterhole, filled by a few old drunks at 9am. The song must have been good, I sneaked in despite the glances and noted down the title from the television and scampered out


William Orbit - Barber's Adagio for Strings

The Number One song on New Years Eve 1999. I was drinking a can of Stella when this song came on - can't remember much else about the night apart from being sick in a wheelie bin, trying to kiss a policewoman and passing out on the kitchen floor at 2am. That's normally fine, but in this case the party was in the kitchen and
everyone else went to bed at 6am.


Wamdue Project - King of My Castle [Original Radio Edit]

First heard this song sitting in a bar in Magaluf in 1999 with Baz and Mark drinking double vodkas and Redbull. It's the sort of place that you think is really great at the time, only to realise as you get older how bad it actually was. This song, like many others, first became popular in tacky cheesy English resorts and became known as 'the summer song'. Even more sadly you would go back to work and proudly say to your friends 'you heard it first'.


Sneaker Pimps - Spin Spin Sugar (Armand's Dark Garage Mix) (Unmixed) -

One of those songs that permantely reminds you of what you were. In this case, a sixteen year old youth in Essex driving in your shitty car that you though was great, pumping out tunes on your cassette player. This was perfect at the time, middle nineties in Southend was one of those times you look back and thin 'no, surely not'.


Terrorvision - Some people say

Walking to school with a bright green blazer listening to this on my Walkman in 1994. It was one of those moments that you pretended to like all sorts of music just to broaden your group of friends. As a result I liked everything from dance to Megadeath, wore black and moshed in midweek and raved at the weekends.


Supergrass - Moving

Driving from an office in Bouremouth to Whitiely in 2000 and listening to this CD and in particular this song. Unremarkable I know, more remembered for the damage I caused to the CD player after inserting this CD into it without knowing there was one in there already. Whoops.



Robbie Williams - Feel

Watching a programme about some stupid car dealer. He played his favourite song which was this. Although I wanted to hate it because he was twat, I liked it. As it was on my MP3 player when I went travelling it now reminds me of that


Pearl Jam - Indiffernce

If ever any music reminds me of being a teenager then Nirvina and Pearl Jam do. This was played in a clapped out old Austin Mastero going camping with the youth club. Then played whilst we were camping as the bloke who ran it loved Pearl Jam. As a consequence, so do I to this day.


Pearl Jam - Nothing Man

This was an album that everyone in the sixth form was looking forward to, Pearl Jam's Vitalogy. You see in those days we could not accidentally download music from the internet, we had to go to the shop and buy it. I remember my friend’s queuing at HMV for this only to be utterly disappointed with the new sound. Not a classic but a few gems of songs including this.


No Doubt - Its My Life


Originally I liked this song because I loved the original by Talk Talk. It was one of those songs that I used to get on my crappy radio when I was ten.


No Doubt - Don't Speak

First year of University. We were playing darts in out local pub and wanted to impress everyone with my music knowledge. I said I had heard a song four weeks ago that I though would get to number one, they said "yeah, yeah". An hour later this song came on in the pub, it said it was number one straight from a new entry. Back of the net.


Monaco - What Do You Want From Me

Every time I play it reminders of Trigger Happpy TV so that just makes me laugh.


Nuyorican Soul - I Am the Black Gold of the Sun [4 Hero Remix]

Sitting on a balcony of a million pound apartment, the sun rising across the water. I had been to a house party and my brother had been on the decks and put this on. Also the first night I had ever indulged in illegal substances (which I thought was an aspirin of course). Great night, if a bit trippy.


Pulp - This is hardcore

One of those moments you just get a buzz from being alive, a 10 out of 10 moment that rarely happens, and for no particular reason. Walking down the stairs from our hotel room in Magaluf, there was a DJ playing and this song was on. Took me two months to find out what it was but reminds me of that time to this day.


Mansun - Wide Open Space

Second year of university. Reminds me of living in a shit house and having no money. Still a great song though.


Level 42 - Something About You

Not a classic by any means. Mostly everynight, Barry, Mark and myself would go down to this incredibly dodgy nightclub on Portsmouth seafront freqented by sailors and other dodgy people. There would always be fights but we would always request this song out of tradition.


Republica - I'm ready to go

1997, the student bar. England verses Italy away to qualify for the World Cup Finals. Sky Sports played this song in the advert breaks. We got the result and therefore reminds me of happy times.


Evenenscence - Field Of Innocence

I was sitting on my bed with my fake new cd and cd player, purchased from a market in Ko Sumai in Thailand. It was pouring with rain outside and it was coming to the end of my trip this year. Played it over and over again.


Evenenscence - Everybody’s fool

Sitting in swanky hostel in Cairns watching videos on the tv - this one had an excellent video and even better sound.


Bluetones - Sleazy Bed Track

Going round my mate's Andrew Walker's house in midweek. Smoking lots of weed and listening to his CD collection and watching Seinfield.


Other Key songs

Nine Inch Nails - Something I Can Never Have
Very dark, but if I ever make a suspense film this will be on it

Neneh Cherry - Seven Seconds
Timless and never get tired of listening to it

Songs in my top 50

Chicane - Offshore
thrill seekers - Synaesthesia [Alaska's Sunset Mix]
Thomas Newman - Meet Joe Black
Stereophonics - Tommorow
Orion - Eternity [Acoustic Mix]
Embrace - All You Good Good People
Mother Love Bone - Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns
Massive Attack - Weather Storm
Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
Mary J Blige - No More Drama (P. Diddy/Mario Winans remix a cappella)
Maroon 5 - She will be loved
Maroon 5 - This love
Kinobe - Slip into Something More Comfortable
Jakatta - American Dream [Radio Edit]
Jakatta - My Vision
Jakatta - It will be
Guns N'Roses - November rain
Grandmaster Flash - White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)
Garbage - You look so fine
Garbage - The trick is to keep breathing
Garbage - Milk
Faith No More - Midlife Crisis
Evenenscence - Missing
Café del Mar - [Michael Woods Remix]
Dido - Here with me
Delta Goodrem - Born to Try
Daniel Beddingfield - I can't read you
Craig David - Walking Away
The Corrs - Radio
Coldplay - Clocks
Coldplay - Politik
Coldpkay - Trouble
Colplay - Don't Panic
Blue States - Doublespeak
John Digweed - Beautiful Stranger [Ambient Mix]
Art of noise - Moments in love
All Saints - Surrender
DJ Sammy - DJ Sammy & Yanou feat. Do - Heaven



October 18, 2004

A cup of tea for the Plumber – I don’t think so.

There is a long standing tradition that if any tradesman comes into your house you should offer them a cup of tea and a biscuit. Well, this needs to stop.

The trade industry is unique. Companies go hell for leather trying to outdo each other. Whether it’s ‘Our service is superior’ or ‘Our prices cannot be beaten’ they will try everything to attract new custom, and keep it. Companies have come to their senses in recent times and released it’s far more profitable to keep an existing customer than try and attract a new one. Companies such as these have in turn become increasing sensitive to customer criticism. If Auntie Sally thinks that someone should have replied to her email about her faulty Hoover vacuum in one day as opposed to two, she will get a lovely twenty pound voucher to say sorry.

All this is great. Well let’s just say not all industries have followed suit. If you are a plumber or an Electrician you would have to started to read the book ‘How to gain new customer and keep them’ and then put it down after page one and gone to the ‘Red Lion’ and had a fag and a pint.

Here is my comparison for a pensioner’s adviser and a plumber…………

How you hear about them………….

Pensions Advisor

Back page of a glossy financial magazine

Plumber

Well you start with your phone book, surely. You spend an hour ringing the numbers only for nobody to answer the phone. The ones who do answer say either ‘Ello’ or ‘Yeah’. Wait three days for any of them to phone you back. None do. Speak to your friend at work who says that Bill the plumber was ok, but always busy, he gives you the number.

How you arrange an appointment……………

Pensions Advisor

They offer you a number of windows which best suit you, ideally after work so you don’t have to take any time off. They put in their diary, they will call if anything changes

Plumber

You phone Bill. He is out. You leave a message. You wait three days. You call him again. He answers, eating something. He says “Yeah, who gave you this number” as if it’s a secret hotline that only special people can call. He gives you one option. 10am next Tuesday (He is really busy you know). Seems completely disinterested, does not take your phone number and generally sounds like he wants to get back to his pint and pie.


The day comes……

Pensions Advisor

John, the pension’s advisor has called the previous day to confirm the appointment. He arrives ten minutes early and apologies for this, “The traffic was better than I expected!” he says. Firm handshake. Nice guy.

Plumber

Take day of work. It’s 1pm. No sign of Bill. He must be busy. Next day. No sign of Bill. He must be really busy. Next week – call Bill. Does not apologise. He says he will come around. Don’t take day of work, he probably won’t come anyway. Bill calls. He’s at the house – “Where are you” he grunts.

The job………..

Pensions Advisor

Everything explained perfectly, no hassle, no sales pitch, some nice brochures, even a personal business card. Hey, I can call him anytime.

Plumber

Turns up with his trousers falling down. Bits of crisps in his beard. A bag full of tools that look like they have been salvaged from the tip. Looks at the shower, shakes his head. Makes a bit of noise. Calls you over. Shakes his head. Starts using words that nobody has ever used before “Yeah mate, it’s the lower left tension spring that has bust, who fitted this thing anyway, very shoddy”. Trying to lower expectations “It’s not looking good, going to have to replace the whole unit, three hours at least”.

What he actually did……

Pensions Advisor

Left a brochure, explained everything perfectly

Plumber

Changed a 20p washer, the bill comes to two hundred and fifty pounds plus vat, plus thirty minutes for a fag

After service…………..

Pensions Advisor
John apologies for not picking up your call – “I was at the hospital having a scan for a tumour, I’m ever so sorry”…. Calls you straight back and spends ten minutes going through your concerns

Plumber

The once leaking shower has now stopped working all together. You phone Bill, he does not answer you call, fifteen times. You wished you just had a shower that leaked now. From now on it’s bath time.


And who earns more money? Well they earn more than nurses and fireman. In fact some earn more than fully qualified doctors. Of course if you actually talking about how much money they in earn in comparison to how much time they actually work then it is considerably more. Here, using research consisting of questionnaires, surveillance and customer feedback I have broken down a plumber’s hour of work:-

20 minutes – driving around listening to the radio
10 minutes – drinking the cup of tea you have made them
10 minutes – scratching their arse
10 minutes – on the phone to their make Mike about the weekend
10 minutes – Starring into space
5 minutes – Inventing some excuse as to why your tap drips
5 minutes – Shaking their head

Should I offer them a cup of tea? I would it’s just my electrics still don’t work after the cowboy electrician came the week before. How can any ‘service’ industry make so much money when these people don’t advertise, don’t turn up on time (if they ever do), look so bad, don’t fix the problem and charge an lottery amount of money for doing absolutely nothing? Simple. We have come to expect bad service. If they have turned up two hours late then we are happy.

This in the main is caused by a severe lack of people in these trades. Ok, I understand unblocking a ninety three year olds toilet can be a shitty job. But surely drinking cups of tea and eating biscuits and listing to the radio in your van makes up for this? So why don’t I become a plumber? Well in all honesty I have a reputation for breaking things. But if someone gives me a ten grand tomorrow the first thing I would do would be to set up a plumbing company with customer service. I’m sure it would go down well and put all those cowboys out of business.






October 16, 2004

Flashbacks - Queenstown

He had silver teeth, he looked like jaws. I looked like Bambi with sweaty paws. I was now starting to regret the bet that I had made with the girl I had met the night before. It was done to impress, but as a result I was feeling the stress. You see I had met this girl at two in the afternoon, outside the piercing place as agreed. What seemed like an excellent idea at 2am that morning seemed like bad idea this afternoon. Maybe it was the multiple cocktails and bottles of beer. Maybe it was a moment to impress. Maybe, just maybe it was a moment of sheer stupidity.

I walked into the piercing place. I was hoping there would be a long queue. Any excuse to leave. But there wasn’t. There was one girl having her tongue pierced. The smell was clinical, the screams were daunting. “I want to get my tongue pierced” I asked. “Sorry not today, we are all booked up” was what I wanted to hear. In reality it was “Yeah no worries mate, just sit down there, be with you in twenty minutes”. Great. Not only could he fit me in, I had to wait. It was twenty minutes of torture. I tried to console myself by reading the customer comments book. Surely if they were well enough to sign the book, it must be ok.

Then it was my turn. I sat down on the reclining chair. My eyes started to water. To jaw’s credit he talked and talked. He could see I was nervous. For a start I could not poke my tongue out long enough for him to clamp it. Then I waited. Pain or no pain? How long will it take? Is he going to stab it? What happens if he missing the spot that he had picked? No, let’s think about something else. What’s the weather like out where? What am I doing tonight? No, this is going to hurt. Please be over as quick as possible?

It does not matter how many people say "It does not hurt, there are no nerves in the middle of the tongue", it still looks like it is going to hurt. Maybe it was the man with big metal teeth and the tattoos. Maybe it was the silver spike. My friend Fred had had his tongue pierced in Auckland. He assured me everything was fine. I mean passing out was nothing he assured me.

In reality it was like going to the dentist. Only this was my choice. And then it happened. Like they say, it did not physically hurt, but mentally hurt. I spent the whole day wondering around hoping people would not talk to me as I would respond with a load of gibberish. And then there was the soup. I sat in the communal kitchen that night, spilling soup all over my t-shirt. Special needs they must have thought. Then I set off for bed. I could only hope my tongue would be there the next day. Maybe I would find the ball on the pillow.

I followed the procedure. Clean twice a day with mouthwash. Drink soup. Talk like a mentalist. It hurt. It was annoying. I thought about taking it out. People would reassure me “It’s only because you have a long bar in, it will get better when you put the shorter one in”. They were right I suppose. But it still meant eating was a lottery. The clunk of metal against tooth was always cringing. Eventually after three weeks the stinging pain started to go. Ok, I admit the first thing I did after the piercing was to drink eight bottles of beer. Caught. Maybe I should not have smoked those cigarettes either. I was hearing horror stories from people who had done the same and suffered from infected mouths. I thought, in my naivety, if I took the risk in getting it done, I could take the risk in having a few cigarettes and beer. Besides, and more importantly, I was in the party town of Queenstown.

It’s been three months now. Well I have swallowed the damn thing four times. I have chipped my tooth once. The major drama was when it fell from my mouth and bounced along a pavement in Sydney. Without a spare I searched for the nearest piercing place. It had been two hours. I tried to feed it through. I tried to feed it through again. The whole was closed. The kind piercing man pushed and shoved. Blood was present. Just as he was about to suggest that I get it re-pierced, it popped through. The relief. Lesson learned. Always keep a spare in your wallet.


But I have learned to like my new piercing. It remains a constant reminder of my crazy time in the crazy place of Queenstown.


October 15, 2004

The good, bad and ugly of 2004

****Laughed the most

Nomads Backpacker, Surfers Paradise, Queensland

A week spent with two girls in a dorm, followed by two other guys. The highlight was meeting C.J, an American surfer in the jacuzzi. Spent the rest of the week laughing about this guy.


****Worst moment

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Scuba diving for the first time. The guys I was with made me laugh so much I nearly drowned. The instructor spent ten minutes trying to sort me out as I could not breathe


**** Biggest Rush

Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Sky diving from 13,000 ft was immense - both a fantastic rush and completely peaceful


**** Biggest decision

Zurich Financial Services, Whiteley

Leaving there for no great reason after five years to go travelling


**** Strangest person I met

Un-named, Wake-up hostel, Syndey

For some unkown reason descided to stiff my back in the middle of the night in a dorm, did some really strange things after that as well


**** Best 'great to be alive moment'

The beach hut, Fiji

A great sunset, great accomadation, great company, completely chilled

*** Biggest 'shitting myself' moment

Coral Reef Resort, Fiji

First day of travelling on my own in remote and isolated 'hotel' in Fiji whilst on a different body clock to everyone else


*** Best day

Sydney, NSW

Spending a great day with a girl called Alison who I had met that day in my room, they say time flies when you are having fun, it did.


***** Worst day

Melbourne, Victoria

Arrived at 10pm that night, left YMCA and searched for pub showing football. Found pub at 2, got lost going back. Football finished at 7am. We lost on penalties, again, it was pouring with rain. Had 30 minutes sleep before we had to be out at 10am.


***** Person that had biggest impact

Auckland, New Zealand

Andy, an ex army Scouser turned social worker. Could talk for hours right in your face but made me realise it's so important that you find your job worthwhile


*** Top Five places

5) Koi Sang Road, Bangkok

4) Beachcomber Island, Fiji

3) Frasier Island, Queensland

2) Whitsundays, Queensland

1)Sydney, NSW. - It has everything

*** Biggest whoops moment

Ko Sumaui, Thailand. No comment.


*** Biggest ripoffs


3) Suit from Bangkok
2) Travel around Thailand
1) Tazi journey from Bangkok airport


*** Best trips

3) Feejee experince, Fiji
2) Frasier Island by Landrover
1) The Whitsundays


*** Best people I now know

in no order

Fred Rowland, Plumber, Bucks
James Ostler, Farmer, Bucks
Alison Janzen, Student, Vancover
Laura Groshak, Student, Calgary
Alison, Student, Calgary
Kerry Bennett, farming things, Calgary
Gavin Janit, Tennis Coach, Canada
Liz Morrell, Student, Bournemouth
And many more............


**** Best new thing this year

Enjoying reading again and writing for magazines


**** Biggest regret

Blowing my money and not travelling longer


**** One thing I have learnt

England maybe cold, overcrowded, stuck in the past but it's still a great country


***** And another thing...


Don't judge people by their accents


Conclusion

2004 was a good year.



October 13, 2004

Web research day

WISE CHINESE PROVERBS:

1) Virginity like bubble, one prick, all gone
2) Man who run in front of car get tired.
3) Man who run behind car get exhausted.
4) Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.
5) Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ.
6) Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok..
7) War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.
8) Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.
9) It take many nails to build crib, but one screw to fill it.
10) Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.
11) Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.
12) Man who fart in church sit in own pew.



Tommy Cooper - Some of his finest.....

1) Phone answering machine message - "...If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key..."
2) A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Clingfilm for shorts. The shrink says, "Well, I can clearly see you're nuts."
3) I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.
4) I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 quid that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, "No, the steaks are too high."
5) My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.
6) A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't, I've cut your arms off".
7) I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a muscle.
8)Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it.
9) Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.
10) Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head. Doc says "I'll give you some cream to put on it."
11) "Doc I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home." "That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome. " "Is it common? " "It's not unusual."
12) A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. "My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him? " "Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him" So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down." "What? Because he's cross-eyed? " "No, because he's really heavy"
13) Guy goes into the doctor's. "Doc, I've got a cricket ball stuck up my backside." "How's that?" "Don't you start."
14) Two elephants walk off a cliff...boom, boom!
15) What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.
16) So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me "Can you give me a lift?" I said "Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it.'
17) Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.
18) "You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice."
19) A man walked into the doctors, he said, "I've hurt my arm in several places" The doctor said, "Well don't go there any more"






WISE CHINESE PROVERBS:

1) Virginity like bubble, one prick, all gone
2) Man who run in front of car get tired.
3) Man who run behind car get exhausted.
4) Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.
5) Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ.
6) Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok..
7) War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.
8) Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.
9) It take many nails to build crib, but one screw to fill it.
10) Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.
11) Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.
12) Man who fart in church sit in own pew.



Tommy Cooper - Some of his finest.....

1) Phone answering machine message - "...If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key..."
2) A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Clingfilm for shorts. The shrink says, "Well, I can clearly see you're nuts."
3) I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.
4) I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 quid that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, "No, the steaks are too high."
5) My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.
6) A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't, I've cut your arms off".
7) I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a muscle.
8) Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it.
9) Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.
10) Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head. Doc says "I'll give you some cream to put on it."
11) "Doc I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home." "That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome. " "Is it common? " "It's not unusual."
12) A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. "My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him? " "Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him" So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down." "What? Because he's cross-eyed? " "No, because he's really heavy"
13) Guy goes into the doctor's. "Doc, I've got a cricket ball stuck up my backside." "How's that?" "Don't you start."
14) Two elephants walk off a cliff...boom, boom!
15) What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.
16) So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me "Can you give me a lift?" I said "Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it.'
17) Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.
18) "You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice."
19) A man walked into the doctors, he said, "I've hurt my arm in several places" The doctor said, "Well don't go there any more"



Double Entendres Intentional - or just a slip of the tongue?

Chris Tarrant discussing the first Millionaire winner Judith Keppel on This Morning: "She was practising fastest finger first by herself in bed last night."

Mike Hallett discussing missed snooker shots on Sky Sports: "Stephen Hendry jumps on Steve Davis's misses every chance he gets."

Jack Burnicle was talking about Colin Edwards' tyre choice on World Superbike racing: "Colin had a hard on in practice earlier, and I bet he wished he had a hard on now."

Winning Post's Stewart Machin commentating on jockey Tony McCoy's formidable lead: "Tony has a quick look between his legs and likes what he sees."

Ross King discussing relays with champion runner Derek Redmond: "Well Derek, tell us about your amazing third leg."

Cricketer Neil Fairbrother hit a single during a Durham v Lancashire match, inspiring Bobby Simpson to observe: "With his lovely soft hands he just tossed it off."

Steve Ryder covering the US Masters: "Ballesteros felt much better today after a 69."

The new stand at Doncaster race course took Brough Scott's breath away..."My word," he said, "look at that magnificent erection."

Willie Carson was telling Claire Balding how jockeys prepare for a big race when he said: "They usually have four or five dreams a night about coming from different positions."

Carenza Lewis about finding food in the Middle Ages on Time Team Live said: "You'd eat beaver if you could get it."

A female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't, turned to the weatherman and asked, "So Bob, where's that eight inches you promised me last night?" Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too, because they were laughing so hard!

US PGA Commentator - "One of the reasons Arnie (Arnold Palmer) is playing so well is that, before each tee shot, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them .... Oh my god!!!!! What have I just said?!!!!"

Metro Radio - "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field."

Ted Walsh- Horse Racing Commentator - "This is really a lovely horse. I once rode her mother."

Pat Glenn- Weightlifting commentator - "And this is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning and it was amazing!"







Thoughts of the day



1) What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

2) What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

3) How can there be self-help "groups"?

4) Is there another word for synonym?

5) Do people who work in cake shops buy cakes ob their birthday?

6) Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"

7) Do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?

8) Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

9) Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

10) Live every day as if it were your last. Eventually you’ll be right.

11) Why is there only one Monopolies commission?

12) Why is it called Alcoholics Anonymous when the first thing you do is stand up and say, 'My name is Bob, and I am an alcoholic?







WORDS WOMEN USE
It may help, but you willl never truely understand them!


'FINE'
This is the word women use to end an argument when they feel they are right and you need to shut up. Never use "fine" to describe how a woman looks - this will cause you to have one of those arguments.


'FIVE MINUTES'
This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it's an even trade.


'NOTHING'
This means "something," and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. "Nothing" usually signifies an argument that will last "Five Minutes" and end with "Fine"


'GO AHEAD' ( With Raised Eyebrows! )
This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over "Nothing" and will end with the word "Fine"


'GO AHEAD' (Normal Eyebrows)
This means "I give up" or "do what you want because I don't care" You will get a "Raised Eyebrow Go Ahead" in just a few minutes, followed by "Nothing" and "Fine" and she will talk to you in about "Five Minutes" when she cools off.


LOUD 'SIGH'
This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"


SOFT 'SIGH'
Again, not a word, but a non-verbal statement. "Soft Sighs" mean that she is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe, and she will stay content.


THAT'S OKAY
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you back for whatever it is that you have done. "That's Okay" is often used with the word "Fine" and in conjunction with a "Raised Eyebrow."


'GO AHEAD!'
At some point in the near future, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.


'PLEASE DO!'
This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance with the truth, so be careful and you shouldn't get a "That's Okay"


'THANKS!'
A woman is thanking you. Do not! faint. Just say you're welcome.


'THANKS A LOT!'
This is much different from "Thanks." A woman will say, "Thanks A Lot" when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have offended her in some callous way, and will be followed by the "Loud Sigh." Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the "Loud Sigh," as she will only tell you "Nothing"







Mate Match

Many Sydney folks DID hear this on the FOX FM morning show in Sydney.

The DJs play a game where they award winners great prizes. The game is called "Mate Match". The DJ calls someone at work and asks if they are married or seriously involved with someone.

If the contestant answers "yes", he or she is then asked 3 random yet highly personal questions. The person is also asked to divulge the name of their partner (with phone number) for verification. If their partner answers those same three questions correctly they both win the prize.

DJ: "Hey! This is Ed on FOX-FM. Have you ever heard of 'Mate Match'?"

Contestant: (laughing) "Yes, I have."

DJ: "Great! Then you know we're giving away a trip to the Gold Coast if you win. What is your name? First only please."

Contestant: "Brian."

DJ: "Brian, are you married or what?"

Brian: (laughing nervously) "Yes, I am married."

DJ: "Thank you. Now, what is your wife's name? First only please."
Brian: "Sarah."

DJ: "Is Sarah at work Brian?"

Brian: (laughing) "Yes, she's at work."

DJ: "Ok, first question - when was the last time you had sex?"

Brian: "She is gonna kill me."

DJ: "Brian! Stay with me here!"

Brian: "About 8 o'clock this morning."

DJ: "Atta boy, Brian."

DJ: "Question 2 - How long did it last?"

Brian: "About 10 minutes."

DJ: "Wow! You really want that trip, huh? No one would ever have said
that if a trip wasn't at stake."

Brian: "Yeah, that trip sure would be nice."

DJ: "Okay. 3rd & final question. Where did you have sex at 8 o'clock this morning?"

Brian: (laughing hard) "I, ummm, I, well..."

DJ: "This sounds good, Brian. Where was it at?"

Brian: "Not that it was all that great, but her mom is staying with us for a couple of weeks....and the Mother-In-Law was in the shower at the time."

DJ: "Atta boy, Brian."

Brian: "On the kitchen table."

DJ: "Not that great?? That is more adventure than the previous hundred times I've done it. Okay folks, I will put Brian on hold, get his wife's work number and call her up. You listen to this."



3 minutes of commercials follow.



DJ: "Okay audience, let's call Sarah, shall we?" (touch tones .....ringing...)

Clerk:: "Kinkos."

DJ: "Hey, is Sarah around there somewhere?"

Clerk:: "This is she."

DJ: "Sarah, this is Ed with FOX-FM. We are live on the air right now, and I've been talking with Brian."

DJ: "He is on the line with us. Brian knows not to give any answers away or you'll lose. Sooooooo...do you know the rules of 'Mate Match'?"

Sarah: "No."

DJ: "Good!" Sarah: (laughing) "Brian, what the hell are you up to?"

Brian: (laughing) "Just answer his questions honestly, okay? Be completely honest."

DJ: "Yeah yeah yeah. Sure. Now, I will ask you 3 questions Sarah. If your answers match Brian's answers, then the both of you will be off to the Gold Coast for 5days on us.

Sarah: (laughing) "Yes."

DJ: "Alright. When did you last have sex, Sarah?"

Sarah: "Oh God, Brian....uh, this morning before Brian went to work."

DJ: "What time?" Sarah: "Around 8 this morning."

DJ: "Very good. Next question. How long did it last?"

Sarah: "12,15 minutes maybe."

DJ: "Hmmmm. That's close enough. I am sure she is trying to protect his manhood. We've got one last question, Sarah. You are one question away from a trip to the Gold Coast. Are you ready?"

Sarah: (laughing) "Yes."

DJ: "Where did you have it?"

Sarah: "OH MY GOD, BRIAN!! You didn't tell them that, did you?"

Brian: "Just tell him, honey."

DJ: "What is bothering you so much, Sarah?"

Sarah: "Well..."

DJ: Come on Sarah ..... where did you have it?

Sarah: "Up the @rse....."

After a long pause, the DJ said, "Folks, we need to take a station break"




October 06, 2004

Supermarkets Suck

“Would you like someone to pack your bags for you” muttered the adolescent tie skewed spotty kid at the checkout. “Er no” I replied. I’m sure it was company policy to try and pretend to be helpful. But then again if I can dress myself in the morning and feed myself in the afternoon, then surely, I can pack my own bags. Maybe if I was a drooping, mumbling, dribbling old man then maybe, just maybe, I may have said “yes”. I maybe I am most of them, but I stopped dribbling last year.

So past the forced “Hello” they give you if you are lucky and past the bag question. “Have you got a Tesco Clubcard?” came the next training day number two question. “Look, if I had one of those I would have put it in the lovely slot that says ‘Tesco’s Clubcard’ or even placed it on the till, or maybe, just maybe, I would have given it to you when I gave you my other card”. “And besides, why would I use a card that gives me a 1 pence voucher whenever I spend a pound? All you do is collect my personal shopping information, send out a few vouchers for tinned beef and then cause me to annoy other people when paying for my food with fifty vouchers that are worth ten pence”. Well that’s what I didn’t say, I actually said “No thanks” but the thought was there.

There is nothing good about food shopping. Full stop. It starts by trying to find a car parking space that hasn’t been double parked by some wonkey offender who uses their car to do the once a week shop. You then start to analyse which cars are mostly likely to leave a scratch on yours when they leave. You can tell a lot about people by the cars they drive you know. And then there’s the frustration of thinking you have found a space, only to find a stray shopping trolley there instead. Get out and move it? No, move on more like.

So get in with the three tonne trolley with one wheel that always moves in a different direction to the others. Supermarkets have a great way of putting all the things you really want ahead of all the boring things you don’t want but need. Forget the sweets, the magazines, the televisions, the gadgets, Move On!

Just like the car park outside, all sense of how to push a trolley completely disappears once you are in a supermarket. The old ladies spend most of the time looking at the aisles rather than look ahead, causing me to do last minute swerving manoeuvres to save their crushing eggs. This is then followed by that awkward head on situation. Who moves out of the way? And, in which direction? The result is inevitable. You turn right, they turn left and you end up grill to grill.

I can take most aspects of shopping in a supermarket. The one bit that still bemuses me is why we walk around for an hour putting things in a metal trolley, only to take them out all again to put them on a conveyor belt? Surely technology should just allow us to put them in a trolley, walk past some scanners and pay for it as we leave?

So find a queue that by the law of all sods will always end up being the longest. Found one. Oh no. John is on training. Double no. Susan the middle aged housewife who thinks that buying Organic food is good for her as just pulled out thirteen club card vouchers, a chequebook and a suicide note from me. And just like most people, who have stood looking into space for the last twenty minutes in the queue, she has just started looking for these things right at the last minute.

Finally my turn. I line up my four items. Wait for it………..what are they going to say?




October 04, 2004

The beer detective

Now I had forty when I when I got there and I took another fifty out on the night. So why I have only got ten left? It was a case for the beer detective again. Just where did that eighty pounds go to?

Unfortunately it does not start well when you look at the facts. Starting to drink at one o’clock is normally the first real sign. Of course drinking at lunch makes you hungry. Of course drinking in the afternoon makes you even hungrier. In fact it makes you so hungry that you deem not only a pub dinner suitable, but four packets of crisps.

So you spend the next day piecing together the facts. You can slowly, but surely, start to recount where you went and what you drank. You remember the five pints of Guinness in the first pub, the two cans of beer at the house, the two pints of Guinness in the next pub, the three double vodka redbulls at the next, the two pints of Guinness at the one after, the 5 Jack Daniels and coke at the club, the glass of champagne, and the killer, shit, did I really have that cigarette.

And then comes the more sinister side. Once you have finished your tally of drink, then comes the memories of what you said, or did not say. Drinking makes you speak crap. Full stop. What seems a perfectly acceptable thing to say at the time, in fact, is a complete load of bollocks the next day. You can only hope that they were drunk as well, and that their detective is not for the hire that day.

But surely, the worst crime comes after the drinking. The desire to suddenly feel the need to eat a kebab. Why when someone else suggests the idea does it become so attractive? And the kebab people must remain blameless. In front of you they put a large elephant looking rotating foot structure in from of you. They may have well put a sign saying ‘Look, don’t eat this’. Even when you are drunk you know it looks bad. Really bad. And then the salad. A subconscious extra that makes you think, ‘hey I’m eating a tub of fat but at least I’ve got some lettuce, that’s good for me’. Eating a kebab at 3am always means the good eating manners are suddenly forgotten. Clasping the grease bucket with both hands, half the lettuce falls out, with the fat dripping down your shirt. Half way through this exercise you either suddenly come to your senses and realise that the four pounds you have just paid for the piece of cat meat is indeed a bad idea, tossing the other half on the floor. Or you realise that the drinking hunger pill is still working and it tastes fantastic.

Taxi! That’s strange, I thought I had some notes in my wallet.











-->




<> Listed on BlogShares