Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Too Much Technology

There used to be a big gate at the WSM rehearsal complex (we hire an industrial estate so we have different buildings for our distribution, design, manufacture and marketing arms - though we actually disagree with marketing arms. They seem to sell themselves apparently, it’s a way governments have of killing children from other people's countries)....

Anyway, it was a bit difficult to open sometimes and a bit of a pain if you left late and the padlock was on. However, if you had the key it was actually possible to open the gate. It kind of works - use key, open gate, get in, use key, close know the way a normal person would work this kind of system rather than a brainless moron.

But now Brainless Moron Security have taken over and we rehearse in Jurassic Park. This comes complete with a huge great gate on rollers - covered in sensors and flashing lights and control boxes, presumably designed to keep the velociraptors in. Unfortunately, there are only the people who pay rent to use the place to keep in.

So now, instead of just opening the gate you have to press a button on a box and ask to go to the toilet (sorry, ask to be let out). The button calls some bloke up in an office belonging to the security company somewhere. You have to ask him to open the gate and let you out. So what if he’s not there? Because someone isn’t around in Dewsbury or wherever they are I can’t get the gate open. And…with it being covered in sensors and lights and boxes as a normal person might guess - IT DOESN’T FUCKING WORK. The man ignores the phone, then he says he has to check something, then he pushes a button to open the gate (though he doesn’t tell me he’s done this of course, he’s a man of few words) and the GATE DOESN’T FUCKING OPEN. He then says he thinks there's a problem and he might have to send someone over. I'm standing next to the gate I used to be able to open with a key and now it won't fucking open and you think you might have to send someone over???? Excuse me, but are we waiting for the satellite to go over or something?

Pardon me for stating what you would think was obvious but why not let me, the bloke standing at the gate actually open the sodding thing? What if there's a fire or a powercut or no-one in the office or any other technical glitch or human error? Does this make me a Luddite or just NOT A FUCKING MORON!!! How could anyone have thought this system was a good idea? Whatever happened to a) the bullshit detector or b) the reality check. What do I do when I want in on a bank holiday or something?

….and I want a starting handle for the car and I don’t want it controlled by microchips. I want it to be repairable by a man who drives a tractor in Rumania. I want to take stuff to be repaired rather than having to buy a new one and I don’t want to leaf through a New Labour PFI brochure to ‘choose’ the best hospital to stop the bleeding after I’ve started climbing the gate to the T-Rex pen to find it moving underneath me.

I find it so tiring to fight useless twattery that I think it would be easier to buy Semtex and just blow the fucking gate to pieces. People would call it an over reaction but I'm not going to take it anymore - so plastic explosive it is.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Supermarkets #3

Kwiksave (Roundhay Road, Leeds) remain the only supermarket where in one visit I’ve been completely ignored by three staff having a conversation across the tills. If they're quiet you also have to go to the 'wineshop' to pay. No clues of course, you have to ask the magazine reader at the till for directions, which they give you with a look that makes it clear they think you're a moron. At the wineshop they're borderline racist and throw the bag at you and push your stuff out of the way, giving you no chance to put it in the bag. Mind you, in Beeston I heard the checkout woman call herself a ‘silly cunt’ for dropping some coins on the floor. Kwiksaves always had empty shelves when I went in them years ago - and they still do!

Still, they keep their milk nice and warm at least.

Supermarkets #2

When I go to pay at the supermarket checkout (hey, I'm talking to YOU Somerfield), do not make the cashier shout ‘do you like muffins?’ at me out of the blue. If you do I’m likely to say ‘yes, I’m a typewriter’ or maybe – ‘shut your mouth!’ – ‘and anyway, these are buns, I’m ENGLISH you twonk’. I might even comment that had I wanted the buns that were on offer in the big display near the door I’d have bought some and brought them to the till. Why not stand something on the counter that you have hidden away that I might not have seen. Don't try to sell me stuff or I'm not coming back.

Supermarkets #1

In Gipton LIDL they have a system of scanning items at the checkout and throwing them at you – almost literally. There’s a section of counter a foot square and they push everything off the edge – you’re expected to have your trolley there ready to catch stuff. They might as well say ‘get the fuck out of our shop, you twat’. They tell you off if you have your trolley in the wrong place. They’ve done it for years and the management do the same thing. No please or thank yous either. You’d think that at least some pretence of not treating customers like dogs with diarrhoea would even have reached Gipton by now – no chance.

Questions, Questions...

A straw focus group poll sample of whoever it was I asked were asked to rank the following in order of rudeness / hot sex action:

1. How’s your father
2. Slap and tickle
3. Rumpy pumpy

The answer to this is of course quite clear. Slap and tickle is of course less serious than how’s your father (which is quite broad I feel but probably means sexual intercourse). In turn rumpy pumpy surely must mean sexual intercourse.

I’m also interested to know the answer to the following questions:

Why a ‘piece of crackling’ but a ‘bit’ of fluff?
How fancy is a fancy man?
When did the nymphomaniac disappear (my guess is with having ones tonsils out and lumbago - but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).

What is the percentage decline in the wolf whistle since 1950?

Why did ‘shooting brake’ lose out over ‘estate car’?

There are a million questions where that one came from. I'm afraid I shall die without ever finding the answers to any of them.

Working, Being King of the World and New Labour

It struck me today that between the beginning of 2000 and the middle of 2006 I worked full-time! What was I thinking? Full-time? Well, that’s just not right now is it? When I’m King of the World working full-time will be banned and anyone wishing to do so will be locked away indefinitely as having a gross personality disorder.

Luckily, the mechanism for doing this is being put in place today by New Labour (along with all the other ones I’ll need to maintain my iron grip – hey hey!). Locking people up in case they might do something bad is a good one isn’t it? How about locking up some politicians in case they do bad things eh? – perish the thought! No-one seems to realise that political prisoners were never locked up in the Soviet Union as ‘political prisoners’, they were usually locked up for their own protection and the protection of society. Clearly not wanting to belong to the Party demonstrated they were mentally ill and therefore dangerous. But, hey the Home Secretary is elected here so its all OK – mind you, so was Hitler – but at least one or two people noticed him making things oppressive. How long before they start carting off people suspected of ‘bad things’ to be tortured or put away – whoops, they do that already - only by CIA plane instead of cattle trucks. Still, it’s Britain, it’s New Labour and nobody cares. That makes it OK you know.

Never mind, it’s unlikely to be you…unfortunately for you however, when I’m king of the world it WILL be you! Don’t say you weren’t warned WORMS! HA HA HA – I will be Home Secretary so its an ASBO control and behaviour order and detention without trail – oh yes, and I’ll decide your ‘tariff’ depending on what the Sun says – send in the army!

Nurse, fetch the screens!

Greetings Pop Pickers / Goodnight Pop Pickers

Well there are only two words that can be used in answer to the question ‘Is the news that Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman has died very sad?’

They are of course....Nod ‘arf!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This is my mailout!

If you're reading this and you didn't get it by e-mail you really should sign up for my e-mail 'annoy you via e-mail' e-mail. I contact you once in a while and try to get you to come to gigs and stuff. I also tell you secrets though... You might even find a free plastic glider with one one day. The below is the kind of thing that you get - what an ego idiot eh?

JP Gigs - at a weekend!
Dear All

It's been a while so it's update time if that's OK with you. If its not, let me know and I'll take your name off the list (and transfer it to my 'little black book of doom' which will ensure that bits of your body will turn black and fall off within the fortnight).

Apart from getting made redundant, finding another job with less hours (and a lot less money to give to beggars on the street) and spending my redundancy money on posh guitars (in the street), I've been recording the 'difficult second album' in a cellar in Armley (where the drugs arrive over the wall in dead birds, you know). It'll be ages before its out because 'when you think I've recorded all I can I'm gonna record you a little bit more' - plus I can't stop fiddling with it / I keep coming up with new songs.
But (and it's a medium sized but quite shapely but), I've decided to patronisingly turn out to play a couple of Leeds gigs just for you - you know, its not that far (for me, not you!), I can go on the bus and be home in time for cocoa and buns.

So, I'll be playing the stuff you all know so well (hey, you - send us £7 and I'll post a copy of the album to you - you can even pay by paypal via ) plus some new stuff.

So, kick out the cows and put these 2 dates in your dairy - it's next weekend though. I don't normally do weekend gigs so who knows who'll be there.

Saturday 2nd December 2006 - Breeze Bar, Wellington Street, Leeds, (opposite Mio Modos)
I searched for this place the other day and couldn't find it. It's actually next to where the Post Office sorting office was before the Post Office got bored with doing post officey things and started doing whatever it is they do now. It's set back from Wellington Street under one of those 'urban living' (i.e. slums of the future) blocks of flats with one of those 'metropolitan' small supermarkets (i.e. like Spar with stupid prices) next door. It's all a bit IKEA in there by the looks of it.
Sunday 3rd December 2006 -Santiago's, Grand Arcade, Leeds, (top of Briggate)
As you can see from the above, I was told this was off the top of Briggate (often thought about throwing myself off the top of Briggate). It's actually at the bottom of the Grand Arcade making it much nearer Vicar Lane opposite the Templar but the Arcade (hey, let's call it an alley!) runs from opposite the Templar up to Al Capone's. So, all in all its a bit more street level - though I expect the drinks prices will still be a laugh anyway.
Both of these are sort of pub times I think. They're probablyfree in too though don't quote me...

So, there you go. For those of you not in Leeds I hope you enjoyed the directions, for those who are I hope I'll see you down there (where I can pretend I don't know you, obviously - actually, if I do that it may be because I haven't actually seen you, come up and buy the album).

Mind how you go



Have also been doing Whole Sky Monitor stuff - there's now a myspace page for WSM - You can download free stuff onto your MPods or whatever - it's like a walkman with loads of tapes you know - but don't say that because you'll just embarrass yourself with the kids. They all want to sleep with me obviously but you, well, you'll just sound old y' know.

On-line quiz 2 – How rude is fruit

Which of these is the rudest piece of fruit / vegetable?

Fig (DH Lawrence only)
Peach / peaches

Of course, for myself I’m partial to a nice pear…funny old world though eh?

On-line quiz 1 - Pink Panties

At the swimming pool today I saw a young man in the changing room pull on some very pink ladies ‘panties’*

What was the correct procedure and what did I actually do?

1. Stroll up saying ‘Hi, I notice you’re wearing girls underwear, it looks pretty comfortable, I was thinking of getting some for myself, I’d really value your opinion...’

2. Point while shouting ‘hey everyone, laydees underwear alert, 2 o’clock!’

3. Quietly have a word with reception hoping they’ll send security to have him and his panties removed.

4. Shout ‘Oy you, you weirdo, we don’t want your sort in here!’

5. Wink and nudge him in the ribs while whispering conspiratorially ‘took ‘em off her last night did you? Top job mate’

6. Try to ignore it and tell (a small part of the) world by quietly putting it on your blog
(Note: 6 is the right answer, did you guess? - really?!!)

* while I’m on, this is one of those words that can’t be used free of connotation…which of these do you use?

1. Panties – silly and a bit rude
2. Knickers – too rude
3. Bloomers – too comic
4. Smalls – too old fashioned and too comic
5. Pants – too confusing for Americans
6. Strides - too modern and I don't know where it comes from
7. Trolleys - See 6 above

I could've got the old Thesaurus out and got more panting words, but why would I? You'd begin to think I'm strange - and don’t even get me started on the need for a female equivalent of ‘willy’ children, for the use of.

While sat in Somerfield's Car Park

While sat in Somerfield's car park, I found myself asking the following questions (not necessarily related to supermarkets) -

What happened to knobbly knees competitions?

Should one say threppence or thruppence? (and what would my mother say if I lost sixpence on the way to the slipper baths?)

In the doctor’s waiting room, why have I never seen a small boy with a saucepan stuck on his head – or a small boy with a neatly sawn piece of railing round his neck? I feel cheated to be honest - most of the people in there don't even look ill.

Why are there posters up at my work talking about Dobbin the dealer? Are drugs being sold to young people by a horse? Shouldn’t he be relatively easy to spot? Still, if he’s a hoodie maybe not…even then, surely someone would spot the 4 legs. Isn't 'horse' a slang name for heroin? - Perhaps the hip and happnin' dudes as the Council or somewhere got confused - but then a dude ranch is something to do with horses is it not? Perhaps horses are the connection we've all been looking for?

Lummie, it's a rum un - and no mistake.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Voodoo Attack

The voodoo attack on my house continues.

Strange organic items thrown in the re-cycling wheelie bin and, even madder than that, what appeared to be a thick swatch of grey hair sticking out of the exhaust pipe of the car. It was coming from inside – had to wrench it out. Chucked it in the bin.

Supernatural-ness fully exorcised by rinsing out the wheelie bin with a bucket of water – easy! – And you can shout at poltergeists apparently.

And the Blair Witch Project was the most boring film ever - even the bits of gristle on washing lines. The curse of the ancients will decend, lucky heather anyone?

John's Facts of the Day

I’m currently using a bar of soap that was partially eaten by mice – several years ago.

I bought some ‘festive' mince pies that had a sell-by date of 19th November.

Until recently it never occurred to me that the name Sandie Shaw was a pun.

Poundstretcher (or whatever they call themselves now) sell Advent calendars - for dogs.

My printer directs everything straight into the bin.

This week I was given £785 in cash by the representative of a toilet cubicle manufacturer.

My local swimming baths has a viewing area - but no place for wanking.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

JP Blog Stolen

Someone bought me that book ‘Is it Just me or is Everything Shit?’. It turned out to be very like my blog (in my opinion anyway) except that some of the targets were wrong. They’ve obviously stolen it – and made it into a successful book – bugger!

That Strange Bus Crash

A bus drove into Ainsley’s cake shop in town a few weeks back. I don’t know how it happened but presumably to stop it happening again a concrete lump (a five foot cube!) has been erected in front of the shop and sleeved in steel. That way the next out of control bus will hit an immovable object. Should wreck the front end of the bus….Less expensive and dangerous than wrecking a shop window? Someone must think ‘yes’! They gave away free bus tickets to people buying sandwiches too…Now what about an apology for the fares you bandits?


Well, I know. You know this too - The world of advertising is so tightly up it's own bottom that the sphincters who 'work' in it (I saw some captioned on telly as 'creatives' - ha ha!) are in danger of bursting like over-microwaved fat smug southern sausages. However, someone gets paid (presumably) to write descriptions on shampoo bottles and no-one stops them going completely mental, more mental than you would think it possible to go even for a really big family sized roasting tosser.

I thought I’d done this one years ago but I’ve been at the shampoo (or ‘fake shit’ as I call it) bottles again....

I bought a bottle of ‘cleansing’ shampoo from Tescos recently. Presumably they do a ‘dirtying’ version then? Mind you, they do ‘Chinese meal solutions’. I checked the dictionary definition. As I thought, dissolved in water. They must be for people who can only eat by sucking through a straw. I’ve definitely said this before you know…’Parkes’s Perfectly Reasonable Rant Solutions’ it says on the side of my van.

Talking of shampoo though, there are 2 shampoo bottles in the bathroom that aren’t mine. One is Garnier Fructis ‘FRESH fortifying cream conditioner’ ‘with active fruit concentrate’ ‘for normal hair that gets greasy quickly’ ‘with innovation no heaviness formula’ ‘for hair that shines with all its strength’. Mm. I’m surprised the bottle is strong enough to support the weight of such a truckload of dog turd. It really does say all that (and more) on the one bottle. Presumably people read it. Presumably this is meant to make their product sound good in moron land?

Do I really need to say anything or are you pulling on the combat trousers and ringing your dodgiest mate with the temper as we speak?

Sorry, but these are some of the questions I’ll be asking them when they’re all trussed up and begging to be allowed to visit the toilet…

Well, what if I think the fruit concentrate is not ‘active’ enough – how ‘active’ do they promise it is? – does it jog? and what fruit is it then and why would I want said fruit concentrated?
What if I find it stale and not fresh at all?
What if I find the formula still leads to slight heaviness? – and can I question the level of innovation?
What if I find my hair only shines with part of its strength?

The other shampoo ‘Locks in coloured hair vibrancy’. Do I want vibrancy locking into my hair? NO, I WANT THESE ADVERTISING TWATS BEGGING ON THE STREETS AND BEING PISSED ON BY VAGRANTS.

Extract from my Travelogue of Leeds

Those finding themselves with a half day to spare may wish to consider tracking down a branch of the ‘Post Office’. Once a common sight on the high streets of England, a few doughty individual branches continue to cling on to a precarious existence in some parts of the city. Despite extremely long queues of customers apparently wanting to part with money for the various services offered, they continue to close, the wear and tear on the floor simply too extreme to be funded by the meagre profits available.

However, the experience represents a metaphor for life and if struggle, frustration, boiling anger and resentment bordering on violence are what you’re looking for on an outing then this could be the place for you.

Please note the queue to reach the counter can reach several hours – sandwiches, flask and toilet tent will be essential.

Have to get direct now...there are only 2 post offices in Leeds city centre now and there's a queue of 35 people waiting to get in each of them in the morning. They closed down the main one (presumably because it was too busy for them). The queues stay at about 35 all day so far as I can see. When I'm paying someone money, what right do they have to keep me waiting for 40 minutes? Try getting to the counter and waiting for 40 minutes. What happens if some poor sod keep the directors waiting 40 there's a point.

I get so drained by this combination of shite service and leaflets and websites wanking on about 'our commitment to our customers' that I can't even be bothered to complain anymore.

By the way, when my Dad were a lad he worked with someone who let his wife know if he'd be home for dinner by sending her a postcard.

'All Day Breakfast Ciabatta'

I recently bought (at somebody else’s expense!) an ‘All Day Breakfast Ciabatta’

I expected it to have, well, you know, breakfast type stuff in it. Just to give you the full flavour (ha ha!), this is what it says on the packet –

‘Lincolnshire sausage and hard boiled egg with cheese, sweetcure bacon & sunblush tomato relish in a plain ciabatta'.

OK, let’s break this down…that’s potentially 6 yummy breakfast ingredients…but only potentially…

1. ‘Lincolnshire sausage’ – Hey! Yes! 1 out of 1. I will definitely give you that one. A breakfast ingredient and no mistake.

2. Hard boiled egg’ – So not fried or scrambled or even poached then? However, sure as eggs is eggs I’ll let you have ½ for that one, almost a breakfast ingredient – that’s 1 ½ out of 2.

3. Cheese – Now, you’ve gone way off there I’m afraid – anyone here have cheese for breakfast? Thought not. That’s 1 ½ out of 3 then.

4. ‘Sweetcure bacon’ – Hey, you’re back with us my laughably expensive catering friend. 2 ½ out of 4. I’ve even let you off ‘sweetcure’ (which you didn’t do anything to deserve).

5. ‘Sunblush tomato relish’. Mm, you’re taking the piss again now aren’t you? You lose a point for the fact that ‘sunblush’ is a registered trademark. Rather like registering ‘I am a wanker’ don’t you think? - And certainly no points for putting ‘relish’ in the breakfast thank you. That’s 1 ½ out of 5.

6. ‘Plain ciabatta’ – OK, it’s bread, you can have a point for that – that’s 2 ½ out of 6.

Now then, all you had to do was to PUT BREAKFAST STUFF IN THE BREAKFAST BREAD THING and you could have had 6 out of 6 six no matter what it tasted like. I wouldn’t have thought you were a total waste of tosser. It's a sanDwich - BUT IT'S NOT BREAKFAST YOU SUNBLUSH CHEESE SWEETCURE IDIOTS!!