Sunday, February 22, 2009

History changes before your eyes

Funny how history changes quickly. Gordon Brown was in Iraq recently congratulating British troops on overthrowing a dictatorship etc. He didn’t bother to add ‘sorry about the weapons of mass destruction we previously said you’d come here for lads’. It’s a rum old world eh?

In another example, when Nelson Mandela visited Leeds a few years back he said that he was very pleased to be 'in Liverpool' and a lot of the rest of what he had to say was lost because the sound system wasn't working. This will not be mentioned in the official records. Not that the mistake was a big deal - 'old bloke says wrong word shock' is not news. Mind you, I'm glad I was there...


This is a bit out of date now but If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his ‘four co-defendents’ 'masterminded the September 11th attacks' then what is it exactly that Osama Bin Laden is wanted for? Just thought I’d ask…

More recently people have been getting very cross on discovering that human rights apply to unpleasant people who support terrorism. No doubt the Nazis got very cross discovering that some people thought human rights should apply to Jews. Presumably we should have human rights for 'nice people' and people you don't like can be banged up without trial before being deported to be tortured by dodgy foreign regimes.

Killing your children

We took a massive bag of popcorn to the cinema – cost £1.18 from the supermarket. Loads between three. Another family at the same cinema bought popcorn at the cinema for their 3 kids. This will have cost them approximately 12 quid – Mind you, each carton of popcorn was the size of the child’s head. I wanted to ask the parents when they last ate a portion of food the size of their head and what they thought the chances were of their children doing so – and next time could I buy them a bag of popcorn enough for three and pocket the £11 change.

It’s also worth mentioning that every item on the menu was an utter shite concoction of fat and sugar and flavourings.

Then it’s over to a restaurant where the adult menu is quite varied and once again the kiddie menu is chips and fried orange things. This is supposedly what kids eat. Ours pinches bits of our food because she gets bored of fried orange stuff with no variety (and she’s not exactly a health nut it has to be said.

So, if anyone whines about being told what to do by ‘health people’ it’s a good idea to bear in mind that the real conspiracy is being perpetrated by the outlets and producers of orange coated fat and sugar balls. Go out to eat and you’re virtually forced to buy this stuff (or starve the kids I suppose). Thing is I don’t want to go to the sushi and muesli bar with the middle class people, I want to go mainstream – I just don’t want mainstream food to be shit.

Note to self – it’s a mistake to try giving money to these idiots. Stay at home.

The limits of helpful advice 2

On the bus there was a conspiracy of silence over a wet seat. A woman got on, sat down and quickly sprang up again saying ‘urrghh, this seat is all wet’. When someone else got on and went to sit in the same seat everyone remained silent. The possible reasons for this (in my head at least) are:

1. We thought the first woman was probably a bit mad and there was nothing wrong with the seat
2. The seat wasn’t really wet but perhaps just felt a bit cold or something, so the woman wasn’t mad but mistaken
3. We all really wanted to see a stranger get a wet bottom
4. We were all too embarrassed to say ‘excuse me, but I wouldn’t sit there if I were you as a women who has just moved from there thought it was wet
5. No-one understood what the woman had said
6. No-one was confident that if they did say anything it would be understood as you never know what languages might be understood on the 49 (there are a lot of ‘em – languages, not number 49s)
7. Everyone was expecting someone else to say something
8. Everyone thought the woman who had moved should take responsibility for telling everyone the seat was wet.

As for myself, I go for 4, 6, 7 and 8. Someone else did sit on the seat and didn’t say or do anything to indicate that the seat was wet. After they got off I gave it a feel – it was really quite wet. I left a Metro on it. Least I could do.

I begin to understand how those stories of people being murdered in public with everyone watching without doing anything work.

More changing room behaviour

One thing I do like to see at the swimming pool is the unselfconsciousness of changing room behaviour on reaching a ‘certain age’. The older man with a 2 foot long scrubbing brush for doing his back for instance, the liberal use of odd smelling talc and the lack of embarrassment about nudity should be encouraged I reckon.

In contrast a younger man stood in the shower with his legs about 4 feet apart (actually his feet I suppose rather than his legs...) and proceeded to wash his private parts by swinging them backwards and forwards. This is not to be encouraged.

The limits of helpful advice 1

Post Christmas and I've been back to the swimming pool. Early morning too - I’ve been swimming with the pensioners. This is considerably cheaper than swimming with dolphins, though unlike dolphins you do have to share a changing room.

First thing is a piece of advice…blokes over 65 please note: Tiny tiny tight trunks seldom look good on anyone… I also note the limits of my cheerful helpfulness (see also the bus seat story).

I was faced with an uncomfortable dilemma. Thing is, what can one say to an older gentleman drying himself in the changing room? How does one broach the subject of the soapy scrotum? The poorly rinsed foamy scrotum isn’t an easy subject to broach. Can you say ‘Excuse me mate, I wouldn’t put your pants on just yet as I’m pretty sure the back of your scrotum could do with a rinse, it’s still really soapy – might get a bit itchy later’? Maybe this man, being an older gentleman, would have seen enough of the world to not worry about this. But which way would he call it? Would he say ‘cheers mate, thanks for telling me, there’s not that many blokes who would be brave enough to mention a soapy scrotum to a stranger, you’ve really saved me a lot of uncomfortableness there’ or perhaps ‘thanks for mentioning it, but the thing is that dried soap suds protect it from drying out’. He might even have a young friend with a big cane inspecting his private parts post-swim as part of a kinky sex game. He may be embarrassed and give it a rinse and thereby lose his kinky punishment.

Of course I shall never know as I didn’t have the balls (or scrotum?) to say anything. What a wimp.

Please do not add a W

The following arrived through work. I offer it up without further comment. Certainly no thought of adding a ‘W’ anywhere at all.

This is publicity for a ‘Self-assessment workshop’ on ‘Community Builders and Community Anchors’. For those of you playing 'bullshit bingo' I have put some words in italics. There are a few!

I quote:

Community anchors are independent community led organisations. They are multi purpose and provide holistic solutions to local problems and challenges, bringing out the best in people and agencies. They are there for the long term and are often the driving force in community renewal.

A series of workshops is being delivered throughout Yorkshire & the Humber in the months up to March. They are funded by the Regional Empowerment Partnership and delivered by members of the regional Community Alliance team to enable organisations to identify for themselves whether or not they are community anchors”.

So there you go kids. If you hear a gaggle of people whooping and hollering in the street they may have been given the thumbs up by the Community Alliance Team and be out on the piss celebrating.

I know the situation in Gaza has been bad recently, but can you imagine the grief and pain if the Regional Empowerment Partnership should one day stop empowering us? Doesn’t bear thinking about does it?