Tag Archives: Random

The Siren Song

Living a few hundred yards, as the crow flies, from a fire station isn’t something you think about, most of the time. During the day, the hum of traffic both near and distant, combined with the general background hubbub of the daytime that you never truly hear, but notice strongly by its absence as night falls, make it something that barely registers on your conscious mind.

In the deepest pit of the night, this changes. Your slumber is never truly deep, as the bell that fire stations once favoured has been replaced with a klaxon. Sleep is broken by that muffled, yet insistent wail… woooOOOOP-woooOOOOP-woooOOOOP. I wake, curse the klaxon and sulk for a few seconds, before remembering that the klaxon’s wail means that someone, somewhere, is in trouble; to hear the klaxon is to hear the sound of help departing for those unfortunates.

I roll over, damning myself as an inconsiderate, stone-hearted, bastard. I close my eyes again and fall back into the arms of Morpheus, embracing his transcendent kiss, lulled back to sleep by the gentling song of the passing fire engine.

weeeOOOOP
.
.
.
Weeep-Weeep-Weeep
.
.
.
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK!

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A Few Things That I Don’t Understand

I’m not going to lie to you all and pretend I’m some kind of Stephen Fry-esque genius, the kind of person who knows a at least a little bit of something about damned near everything. Some things just bug me, though. The kind of weird, niggly, gaps in my knowledge that I’d be too embarrassed to ask an expert about. Here are some of them. If you happen to stumble across this and actually are an expert in one the things I’m baffled by, then by all means and for the love of all that’s good and holy leave an answer in the comments.

Piss Shivers: Just after taking a whizz, my whole body will judder and I’ll make an involuntary – and startlingly loud – noise. Something like “Bwmnghnnngghur!” Not only do I not know why my body does this, but I can’t even think of a legitimate reason for it to do this. Bodies usually know what they’re doing, even if the brain doesn’t have a god-damned clue about what’s going on. This just strikes me as weird. I mean picture the scene… You’re a paleolithic era hunter-gatherer, stalking through the North European landscape hunting for deer. You stop to take a leak, carefully choosing somewhere your scent won’t carry to any prey in the area. You’re mostly finished, but as the last few drops squeeze out… “BWANGAHURRRGTHRP!” With that baffling cry, every bit of prey within two square miles takes to its heels and you starve to death during the winter. Where is this good evolutionary strategy?

Askmen.com: Seriously, I’ve looked at that site and for the life of me I don’t know who the hell it’s aimed at. Have you seen it yet? Go and have a look at it now, I’ll wait for you to come back before I continue… Ah, you’re back! Is it meant to be ironic humour? Serious advice for confused men? A huge, complicated, practical joke at the expense of the kind of dickwad who takes that shit seriously? I mean, come on! Smoking a pipe is a manly ritual that should be brought back? Smoking, and bear in mind I say this as someone who smokes like the chimney of an industrial revolution era factory, is something that should never be recommended to anyone, except maybe suicidal people who intend to go through a long bucket list first. Then die horribly as gasping, wheezing, cancerous, emphysema racked,  shells of their former selves. (Yes, yes. I should quit. I know that. Let’s accept that fact and move on)

“Lateral Thinking” Puzzles: I hate that shit. You know the kind of thing, “A man is eating in a restaurant, receives the bill, pays for his dinner and thanks the waitress, then goes outside and kills a taxi driver. Why?” then the answer ends up being something ridiculous like “The taxi driver sexually abused him when he was four years old” What I hate most about it, is that it is supposed to encourage lateral thought, but all it really encourages is wild guessing until you hit on the exactly specified “answer”. To make matters even worse, the idiot posing this as a puzzle will look at/listen to sometimes dozens of wrong answers, before smugly trotting out the right one as if you’re all idiots for not having the key piece of knowledge missing from the original question. This crap doesn’t make you smarter than me, just a fuckload more annoying. And I’m someone who picks my nose and wipes the snot on the undersides of coffee tables.

Coffee tables: Their existence doesn’t confuse me. They’re useful and practical items of furniture, handy repositories for magazines, ashtrays, paperback novels, laptop computers, unpaid bills and – as mentioned above – the undersides are a great place to stash recently mined nostril gold. What baffles me about them is their name. “Coffee tables” implies that these things were specifically made to put down your cup of coffee. But we live in Britain, renowned all over the world as a tea drinking culture, even more so when these little tables became the latest must-have bit of furniture, so why name them for the nation’s second favourite hot beverage?

Painful extrusion of digestive gases through the rectum: Also known (at least amongst my friends and acquaintances) as “Thorny Wind”. Let’s not be coy about this, we all fart. Whether it’s the loud raspy one when we’re at home, the quiet squelchy one in the lift that smells like a dead badger and leaves you praying no-one else gets on before you reach your floor, the one-cheek-sneak on the bus or in the queue in the bank, this is all perfectly normal. However, sometimes your rectum bowls you a googly. Everything proceeds as normal, then BAM! Your rectum feels as if some miniature sadist crept up behind you and hammered a nine-inch nail up your back passage. I’ve checked this with several people and those who’ve answered my question (mostly men, you won’t be surprised to hear) have experienced this and find it as painful and baffling as I do. No-one likes to be caught out farting in public, so being caught out by leaping into the air, clutching yourself and shouting “SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS! PHONE AN AMBULANCE, I THINK MY ARSE IS BROKEN!” is just downright humiliating, plus it’s a terrible reason to get barred from your local branch of M&S.

That’s all for now, but these are the things that prey on mind. I’m going to stop now, before you all think I’m some kind of (even bigger) weirdo, but I will round off this almost one thousand word rant by posing one question: What irritating gaps are there in your knowledge?

An important message for the people who make Evian commercials.

Dear whoever it is who makes this* commercial for Evian mineral water,

I speak to you on behalf of hordes of people across the U.K. and any other territories your current commercial airs in. With one voice, we all say to you… STOP IT!

It’s creepy, unnatural and has no place in a civilised society. Babies should be sitting in high chairs, giggling adorably and looking vaguely reminiscent of British Bulldogs (I mean that in a good way). What they certainly should not be doing, is rollerblading, dancing, doing Ethel Merman numbers in fountains or any of the other unnatural and freakish abominations you’ve churned out in order to make us associate your product with horrifying demon babies intent on stealing our souls and handing them over as tribute to their demon overlords. It only makes us want to drink Volvic mineral water, and I’m sure that’s not your preferred outcome.

When I see a baby on the street, my natural reaction should be one of “Isn’t he/she/it adorable?”, combined with an utter certitude that I absolutely do not want one of my own. NOT a Pavlovian response of terror and a feeling of complete certainty that said baby is just waiting for me to let my guard down so it can get on with reenacting Children of the Corn.

That is all.

* Ordinarily, I would embed a youtube video in order that all of my readers (both of them) know what I’m talking about. On this occasion I wish to avoid looking on that hideous advert each time I load my homepage.

Sometimes, Google scares me…

I’ll admit to being a world class procrastinator. When it comes to procrastination, I thought about writing the book, but got distracted and did something else instead. One of my favourite methods of passing away the idle time while I stare hopelessly at my short story due to be posted here Any Time Now™, is to ask Google metaphysical questions. As a fan of the late, great Douglas Adams I was deeply gratified to find out what happened when I Googled “the answer to life the universe and everything”.

A few minutes ago, I decided to mess around on Google, asking it stupid questions. I started typing, but paused when I realised I didn’t really know what I wanted to ask. Being the helpful page that it is, Google thought I might need some suggestions. One of those suggestions managed to pull me up short. Look at the picture below and you’ll see highlighted in blue, the cause of my momentary fit of “WTF?!?”.

(Click to magnify)

Google, messing with my head.

Google, messing with my head.

Seriously, Google. You have access to my search history. You know that usually I’m looking for Steven Wright jokes or pictures of Jessica Biel in her underwear*. I thought we understood each other. I use you as my default search engine, you give me sweet, sweet Jessica Biel  bikini photos.

Also, why are 52, 600 people baffled as to the appearance of a deceased Asian on their living room furniture? Maybe it’s just one person who got really confused by it happening and posted the question on thousands of message boards in the hope of finding an answer somewhere. Maybe there’s been a recent spate of people from Pakistan expiring on stranger’s sofas and I just never heard about it until tonight? What if Google has used complex algorithms to determine my future and I’m soon to be typing that exact query in a sense of mounting panic and desperation… QUIT MESSING WITH MY HEAD, GOOGLE!

* Reversing those two search queries gives far less hilarious results than you might imagine.