Reading ‘The Times’ today, I came across some interesting articles. Was it the increased build up to the General Election? No way. Maybe the deadly Brazilian spider that sneaked into this country via a box of bananas, which after being caught, was then released into hospital gardens by mistake by a dozy worker. Oh no, something far more serious than that.
Apparently, beautiful people have problem. If they go out at night, they never get chatted up. People, it seems, are too scared to talk to them, or they get the drunks at the end of the night. It must be so difficult.
It goes on already in the exclusive nightclubs. If you have got the face, you can get in. It’s an exclusive club. If your bum or belly is a bit too much on the big side, more often than not, the club will be ‘full’.
So, what’s the next step for this beautiful people society? Well, of course it the online dating website, but ugly people, please don’t bother applying. Well you can apply. It’s just be prepared for some ‘honest’ rejection feedback. Summit your profile, upload your picture, and wait. Yes, that’s right, wait. Wait for a couple of hours? No more like three days.
In that time, the ‘selected’ beautiful people who are already members (and have been verified as being beautiful already) on the site will examine your profile, look at your pictures and give you a judgement, with one of the following:-
Yes, Certainly! Yes, Ok! Hmm, Not really No. Not at all!
The votes are collated and your membership will either be granted, or, just like the clubs, be told that you have to wear black shoes on an R&B night.
In the interests of web research, I’m entering a piss take entry, with my success barometer being ‘Hmm, Not really’, I guess I’ll be happy with that.
I decided to treat myself to a rather expensive pair of shoes on Sunday. Now I can justify this. Unlike women in general, I will wear the same pair of shoes to work and for going out, a sound investment. Now, shopping to me is simple. See something you like, dont try it on, just buy it and get out of there. I know my shoe size, I know what I like and I know what time the car park ticket expires and how long it will take to get back. Who ever invented the term Window Shopping? I mean you go to the shops, find something you like and then, well you just depress yourself because you cant afford it. Great. Temptation. Anticipation. Commiseration.
So what was the result of my instinctive five minute shoe shopping escapade? Well as nice as the shoes are, I failed to spot that the soles are like glass. Great if I want to go skating on icy lakes, not bad for taking unwanted dog shit off your shoes and quite fun for sliding around on the carpets at home, but shit for walking around work gracefully.
Now you can tell a lot about people by their shoes so they say, to the point where even a manager at work hires on the basis of good shoes. So my subtle attempt to impress the top brass and ladies at work failed miserably. Sliding around the carpeted office floors with spilling cups of coffee in your hand doesnt look graceful.
Nearly as graceful as when I say oh fuck when touching the metal handrails, not only do my new shoes make me out to be Bambi on Ice, they are a mini power station for creating static electricity. Nice.
Maybe it's not all that bad. A sliding, statically charged employee moving around the building. Oh, I forgot. The soles are so hardcore that they sound like clogs, they produce the sort out sound that women make in high heels make. I suppose it does have it's advantages, warning people that you are there when you want to over take them in the corridor. They also act as a great indicator signal, bending the sound around the walls to alert people I'm there so I don't collide with coffee carrying, folder holding, scared looking people like I do most days.
Then again, maybe there is a reason why women spend hours in one shop and not five minutes like I do, maybe they iron out all these problems at the time, looking in the mirror, analysing the clunking sounds, doing sliding tests and testing the static production rate. Or maybe they just like trying things on too much, I will never know, and will probably never understand. But that's what I like about women.
The email reminder came round again at work.. “Remember, Come out and celebrate on Saturday at 8pm”. The fact that it went out again meant one thing. Nobody from the department was going. As I looked around the office and pondered which girls may be going, thus influencing my decision, I was distracted by something else in the email. “To celebrate St Georges Day”.
Now St Georges day is the meant to be the English National day. The day we celebrate being English. It’s just nobody has got a clue when it is or what it means. In reality you are more likely to go out on St Paddy’s day and join the Irish then even contemplate this George fella.
So what’s it all about? Well on the 23rd April, 1222 ad, Edward the third decided we should have a national holiday. Back in the olden old days of AD307 George was an officer in the Roman army who, after giving his goods to the poor at the outbreak of persecution, confessing his Christian faith and refusing to sacrifice to the gods, suffered "terrible tortures" which lasted for seven years and was eventually beheaded.
If only poor old George could see what was happening today. Not only do we not know when this day is, we don’t have a national holiday (most importantly of course) and we wouldn’t have a clue how to celebrate it. I mean what are we celebrating anyway? Some guy slaying a dragon.
Well, here goes, the Reasons for English celebration...........
Take “The Darkness”, the most serious rock band around
A dimly cocktail bar, candles flickering with the movement of people, the smooth background noise that was funky jazz. The exotic drinks menu, cocktails with alcohol that I never I never knew existed, let alone tasted. Prices, that I thought, were in dollars, not pounds. Smartly dressed staff, watching the ash trays and empty bottles, clearing them as soon as discarded. The change in metal dishes, tips obviously expected, seldom given. Wash basins with hand movement trigger. Stalls. Fashionably uncomfortable. Reserved tables that never seemed to be filled.
What the hell was I doing here? A pint of Stella and a packet of peanuts please.
And so it was. Four hours, eight long cocktails later, and fifty pounds lighter it was time to go, get the last train. What was meant to be a London birthday reunion, turned out to be a one on one drink for two.
Now I hadn’t engineered this situation. Say to a nice young lady that other people are coming , then once in your web, feed the bait to the prey. No, I’m not that clever. For the multitude of reasons why the others didn’t show, were the multiple reasons why in the end I really didn’t mind. Although feeling slightly guilty about the thought that I could have engineered this situation, I also sat back and revelled in the ability to have one on one contact. No worrying about catering to peoples tastes, no clash of personalities, no hovering in between friends. Just four hours of catching up with the girl that I had spent three days on rocky boat with in Australia.
For all the negatives, there’s always a positive.
The dimly lit bar, completely engineered. Not.
The Coneman. A quick wonder around London confirmed, you can make money from anything. Even by blowing through a road cone. Calssic.
Charlie Chaplin did this in 1889 Ellen Barkin did this in 1954 Coops did this in 1978 Dusty Springfield did this in 1939 Freddie Ljungberg did this in 1977
a few historical events as well...........
1705 Queen Anne of England knights Isaac Newton at Trinity College 1862 District of Columbia abolishes slavery 1949 Toronto Maple Leafs sweep Detroit Red Wings for the Stanley Cup 1972 2 giants pandas arrive in the US, from China 1912 Harriet Quimby - first woman flies the English Channel. 1972 Launch of Appollo 16
Pay the ransom and save the hostage? I don’t think so.
He looked at it. He looked at it again. “There are two options, you can save it, or you can lose it”. It had come to this. I had a decision to make. “How much will it cost to save it?” I enquired. “Well……” (as if it prepare me for the news) …. It will cost five hundred pounds”. How much did this mean to me? Two hundred and fifty pints of beer or, saving it? A flight to Canada, or, saving it. Almost as instinctively as the images of beer and airplanes flashed in my head, came the reply. “Let it die”. If you ever find yourself being taken hostage, don’t ever call me. You wouldn’t get out alive.
It’s been two years since I have been to the dentist. Actually, make that two hours.
And I realised why. Going to the dentist is like paying car insurance, you don’t really want to, but I guess you have to from time to time. Next month and next week always seems better than today or tomorrow. Then one day, a rush of pain tells you maybe next month should be tomorrow. Pain is great at focusing your mind. The thing is, the fabulous state of British dentistry means that you can’t really go tomorrow, more like in two months. Of course it was my fault. I work on the ‘no pain, don’t engage brain’ methodology in life.
“E5 ok, lower D4 , upper B2”. It was some secret code, being passed to his assistant. All I knew was it must be bad as the mirror on metal stick thing moved on from tooth to tooth. I’m no expert in dentist terminology, but I could translate it as “the bottom right one, well that’s fucked, too many sweets. The one next to it, well don’t really know but if I say E3 very quickly nobody will know. The top right one next to the silver filling colour one has got a big hole in it,,,,,,,,,,”. I would have preferred the truth in simple terms. Maybe he was going to tell a few jokes first, get me relaxed, then tell me that I might as well put an entire set of false teeth in.
“One of your teeth is in a bad way, you have got a filling as well, but that’s all I can tell before we get the x-rays”, he said. I’m just going to check to see how bad you’re your lower left tooth is”. I think that was obvious. Half of it was missing. Half of it had come out in Thailand whilst chewing on a chewy thing (I couldn’t understand the Thai label, but it probably said “don’t chew, it breaks your teeth”). “Okay, I’m just going to blow some cold air into it to see if your nerves still function”. Great, it was like the kiss of life, it’s just I already knew my tooth was half dead.
“Did you feel anything?” he probed. I may as well have not answered. My face screwed up like junk mail. Touched a nerve? Just a bit. “Okay, well as the nerve is not dead, you have got two options.
1) Before trying to excuse the entire office of making a really annoying squeaking sound, check that's it's not your chair first. Thankfully at the last minute. I did.
2) If you choose to spill a cup of coffee all over your desk, make sure it doesn't go down the gaps in the desk and all over the person opposite. I didn't.
3) Don't bother with expensive exercise videos, just go to a football match. When the annoying person in front decides to stand up every two minutes, well, you sort of have to as well. Great for your thigh muscles. Try it. I did.
4) Again, why bother with exercise. Instead just get stuck in loads of traffic coming back from the football. Your left leg gets exercise via the clutch and break, the right from the start, stop accelerator. Go for it! I did.
5) Before arranging a night out in London, look for the accommodation first, not last. You will probably be stuck with a £120 a night hotel as the cheaper ones have gone. Do that. Cause I didn't.
6) When driving for eight hours and drinking two pints with no food, have some water. Otherwise it makes you feel likeshit when you do finally get in. Do it! I didn't.
7) If you are going to take some of your friends to a football match, make sure it's a good one with lots of goals. Go on, do it. I didn't.
8) Don't accidently pay lots of money ONTO you credit card by accident. It's difficult to get back into your current account. Be careful. I wasn't.
9) If you walk past a girl in your office that you quite fancy, don't giver her the evils for no reason. I did.
10) Of course you would never be stupid enough to do the things above. You probably wouldn't, I would.
The Millenium stadium, Cardiff. We lost 0-2. In extra time.
Football. It does strange things to you. Ten years of your team being the worst around. Ten years of getting two column inches in the paper. If you are lucky. Ten years of saying which team you support to people, and ten years of blank expressions. Ten years of disappointment. Ten years of price increases.
Eleven years of losing. Then, by miracle they reach a national final. Ok, not a great national final. The final for the not so good teams, the lower league teams. Eleven years on, where am I? In Bournemouth? No. In Southend? No. In Cardiff for the 70,000 crowd final? No. I’m in fucking Australia. Well, nothing against Australia, it’s a great country after all. By why, when I decide to leave my country for just six months, do my shit wank football team get to a national final without me? If there was a Lord of Sods, then he made it law that day to really piss me off.
Twelve years on. Top of the league. The nasty Lord Sod man is actually alright. This Sunday the shit wank team has made the national final again, but this time, I can go. Which brings me onto my conclusion. You can support your Manchester Uniteds all you like. You can see them on television every week until your heart is content. But, after ten years of misery, winning with a shit team is ten times better.
Some people just can’t understand it. Why get so existed over a shitty football team? But then again I can’t understand either.
One pair of cheap plastic Elvis glasses : £2.99 One gold chain : £4.99 One slightly old school shirt : £49.99 A wig to give me longer hair : Priceless
Okay. If I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of dressing on a night out. But this occasion may have served as a little reminder that maybe its not that bad. After all, it’s all about taking the piss, something that I supposed to do quite a lot.
I stuffed the wig, glasses and chain into my coat pocket. Somehow I think the frail old folk of Southbourne would have started to gossip if I wore it on the number 22 to Bournemouth town centre. After all, I was worried that they might get slightly jealous looking at my temporary brown crop of flowing hair. I didn’t want to make them feel bad about their blue rinse attire. Then again, some of the vainer over eighties around these parts do go for a wig themselves, so I may have been in good company.
Seeing huge afro wigs in Bournemouth is not as head turning as it could be. It’s a magnet for stag and hen weekends, which often involve some kind of themed fancy dress standard. It wasn’t long before I saw a huge afro across the other side of the pub, instantly clocking that they must be a part of the birthday party group that we were to be joining.
Jazz juice, with it funky music provided another entertaining night, followed by the standard 4 mile walk along the beach back home, dodgy wig and all. Unfortunatley there were not too many people walking past to scare on the way.
Okay. It’s the old tradition. Play a practical joke before the afternoon on April 1st. In truth it never works on me, I have played too many practical jokes to play the victim.
I picked up the paper for lunch today, normal routine. Sport pages first. Main news next. Skip past the adverts, subconscious or not, there is no way I’ll fall for advertisers ploys to get me to buy something. Today was different though. A nice full length page advert from BMW. An interesting advert for once.
Do you know that they are banning right hand cars from mainland Europe in 2007? So how is that going to work? Well BMW have cleverly managed to get around this by developing a steering wheel less car, just a centrally mounted sensor driven system.
Just as I was thinking why I had not heard about this sort of technology before, or the legality of banning right hand drive vehicles, I realised that I had been got. I hold my hands up to the Times newspaper and BMV, very clever. You tricked me.