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?