Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Butter Debacle

A chat I had with a friend about my thrilling life:

"I heard noises in the kitchen, so I went to investigate, and there were people in there, doing checks, but it meant I had to pretend I had gone in there for another reason, to get something. I panicked, and got out butter. I now have to sit and watch my butter slowly melt until they leave, or have a bread and butter slice I don't REALLY want. This is the sort of hectic activity my day entails."

"'Oh, sorry, I was just wondering what the noise was'?!"

"I'll quote the original text. "I panicked". Now, if you'd presented the scenario to me again, and said "How are you going to handle this?" I'd do what you recommended above. But at the time, my brain shifted from "Helpful" to "Panic mode". I'd overheard someone saying "I really like the smell of butter, is that a crime?!" earlier today, so butter leapt to my mind. I announced "Just, uh, just getting some butter." to the assembled crowd in the kitchen, who stared at me in silence till I got the butter out. I then gestured at the butter, as if to go "See? Butter!" in the hope this would break the tension. I shall admit now, it failed spectacularly in this regard. I don't imagine that could have gone more awkwardly."

Thrilling conclusion: I had to put the butter back, the people were still in the kitchen. In my naivete, I tried the "Gesture at butter" move again. I even threw in an eyebrow raise (Suggesting "Butter, eh? Tsk!"). In case anyone wasn't thinking I was mental, my mouth opened without me knowing about it and the words "Just putting the butter back. I like butter." had tripped out of my mouth. Aggressively bland and stupidly inane. I stopped myself, but I could feel an "mmmmm" about to come out too, so at least I salvaged something.


"Have you ever seen a royal box at the theatre?"
"No, but I once saw Princess Anne go 4 rounds with Barry McGuigan in a Leicester bar."

I was a pretty famous silent performer for a while, but I had to give it up. Didn't want to hog the mimelight.

I saw a vulture playing with some sort of meat puppet. Must have been a carrionette.

Another bird one, I saw a man killing hundreds of seabirds on his lawn. Well, it was an albatrossity.

Obscureish music references now. Cypress Hill have recorded a political biography of Iraq's longest serving leader. It's called "Hussein in the Membrane". As part of the album, they've also recorded "Blair De Loon", a new remix of Clair de Lune, which pokes fun at Blair's record as Prime Minister, and "Bush It", which, as you don't need me to tell you, is a new take on Salt-N-Pepa's classic seminal hit, obviously aimed at George W Bush. Should be good, I'm looking forward to it. Since we're on the topic of music, this isn't a pun as such, but I'm beginning to suspect Sir Mix-a-lot and Lady Gaga haven't ACTUALLY been knighted.

I'm opening a travel agents/fish and chips shop. I'm calling it "Going Plaices". That or an Elvis Presley themed Travelodge with it's own small race-track underneath, called "Kartbrake Hotel".

Where do letters go to worship God? Commanion. Except the letter K. He's too busy running a protection bracket. I got given a date rape drug in my mail this week. It was apostroofie. Apostrophe? A post roofie? "Date Rape drug" is just a roofiemism. Euphemism? Christ, this is harder than I thought. I met up with my relative Miss O'Nim. She's a bit of a black sheep, completely the opposite of the rest of us. Aunt O'Nim, we call her. Go easy on me, I've got irritable vowel syndrome. I'm trying to fix it with my diet, I'm becoming a verbivore.

[Caution: Not a pun] If I ever have kids, I'm going to leave cryptic messages written in child's handwriting for them to find in later life and be completely baffled and confused by. Ideally, they'd ask me "What do you think this means? I found it in my room when I was clearing it out. It... It looks like I wanted to overthrow capitalism aged 7. Was I displaying communist tendencies then?" and I'd say "well, when we played snooker, you did refuse to break up the reds, declared the black fundamentally wrong for being so high value, then demanded we make every ball worth the same".
Alternative endings to that include "Whenever we played chess, you demanded that the pawns stop infighting, unite, and overthrow an outdated political elite that ruled them. We had to stop playing with kings and queens. You didn't like chess much."

"You hated monopoly, repeatedly shouting "All property is theft!" and when I charged you rent for landing on my square, you demanded the other players work with you against me. We had to make all the land publicly owned, in the centre of the board. It was a bureaucratic nightmare, but you seemed to enjoy it."

Apparently they're going to swap the hour and minute hands from small and big, respectively, to the alternative (ie, big and small, respectively). All I can say to that is "Not on my watch!".

Extreme tidying, it's the new craze sweeping the nation. Buster "the Duster" Johnson is brushing aside his competitors and mopping the floor with them. He's really cleaning up in the leagues.



Hallowe'en is fast approaching. What I like about it (The only thing I like about it) is that it immediately divides everyone into "Is prepared to dress up" and "Won't dress up". I am very much in the latter, and my plan is to make fun of people who think it'll be fun to go out as the archetypal slutty nurse, Florence Nightingale, or early 20th century ace president, William Taft, with bitter comments, which they'll be too busy having fun to notice. Worst, though, I can see a pumpkin in our kitchen, which suggests that a flatmate is actively encouraging people to get into the "Hallowe'en spirit". I am to Hallowe'en what Scrooge was to Christmas, without the ultimate redemption of the changing dreams. Bah, humbug.

Of course, sometimes with costumes, they represent a deeper or more intangible point than the mere costume being worn. "What are you dressed as?" "I'm dressed as the cutbacks to an already stretched NHS." "Are you sure you didn't accidentally pick up the skimpy nurse costume?" "Oi! The lack of length in this skirt is a METAPHOR, alright, and my eyes are up here! Pervert."

Or occasionally they're a deliberate attempt to be ironic, which is intended to be cool, but almost always comes off as incredibly annoying. That includes the gem "What are you dressed as?" "The guy who doesn't dress up for Hallowe'en" "Oh, haha, you're so VERY clever. Was the shop all out of 'someone who isn't an unrepentant arsehole?'".

As a final Hallowe'en gesture, I'm going to include a concise list of people I'm not expecting to see people dressed up as this Hallowe'en:

1980s darts sensation Bobby George.
Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King.
5th century BC "Father of History" Herodotus.
1980s Australian cricketer Mervyn Hughes.
The last Pope to have resigned, 15th century sex-symbol Pope Gregory XII.
19th century British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.
James Brudenell, who, as you don't need to tell me, was the 7th Earl of Cardigan, famed for leading the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Only president to have served non-consecutive terms in the US, Grover Cleveland.

I could go on. But for your sake, I shan't.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Clearing out Fail Farm

The biggest news on the lips of the nation: Dale Farm "travellers" have been evicted! The last time an eviction was this big in the news, Big Brother was still popular and relevant (A far cry from our modern times). Yes, the travelling folk who meticulous set up full-time homes that weren't going anywhere (It's good to know I can randomly ascribe myself qualities I don't possess if they're in my heritage at some stage. On that basis, I'm a God-fearing war-mongerer, and probably addicted to opiates too. My relatives were surely alive in 19th century Britain), have been evicted from their illegally occupied land. This is just a warm-up for Britain's police force, as we plan to evict Israel from their slightly illegally occupied territories too. Consider it a pre-season friendly for the force, get to work together again, competitive fixture with no risk of failure. It couldn't go wrong. The residents soon staged a mass walk-out in protest at being made to, uh, walk out, in a bizarre twist. They've been there 10 years and sort of walked out after the police stormed the place going "If you wanted us out, you only had to ask! Tsk. We don't want to make trouble. You silly people.".

Sticking with surprising evictions having an inevitable conclusion, Libya's ex-leader Gaddafi is now dead. France said "It's an end to 40 years of tyranny" conveniently forgetting to add "Which we just stood by and watched for decades because Gaddafi was a politically expedient leader, despite his close ties with terrorism.". Britain's PM, Cameron said "I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi's victims" carefully not adding "Which we as a nation forgot when Tony Blair was the first major world leader to endorse him, and hung out with him, signing neato oil deals.". Of course, like all good tyrants (To take Alain Juppe's use of "Tyranny") we, that is to say, Britain and France, supplied him with weapons deals for decades. What Cameron meant to say was "This is a day for conveniently forgetting our roles in the rise and maintenance of Gaddafi, and instead remembering that we helped bring him down! Can we help the National Transitional Council, perhaps by selling you arms or buying oil?". Of course, this death was inevitable, like the sun coming up, or Britain exporting arms to people who eventually use them on their own citizens. There would have been no sense of conclusion without it, and there's nothing worse than an unfinished civil war. Of course, we're totally helping out nations under tyranny. So we're solving North Korea, right guys? No? Well, Zimbabwe? No? We must be too busy with Iran then? No? But only because we're stopping off and sorting out Syria first, right? No? Huh. I guess we're nothing better than despicable hypocrites who make politically expedient moves and claim we did it because it was "right", whilst letting the world do what is pretty obviously wrong right in front of our faces. Brilliant.

Side note: I don't want to suggest I'm bad at picking a fantasy team, but when I picked my fantasy dictator team, I went for experienced, old hands who would rake in the points, and then Mubarak goes and retires, ruining my strike force, and from nowhere, Gaddafi's out for the rest of the season with a niggling death wound he picked up in a pre-season friendly against his own citizens. Not to mention the surprise move by Ben Ali. I'm pinning my hopes on Bashar al-Assad (Captain) and Ahmadinejad (Vice-captain).

In other news, people in America and Britain have gathered in order to protest.. uh, stuff. In general. Some of the stuff they're complaining about includes fiscally irresponsible behaviour by banks, which were let off the hook from both regulation and having to be responsible for their own failures. Also complaining about the corporate influence in modern politics (For £50,000, you can spend the night with David Cameron, and talk to him. It's easy to make the lewd comparisons to him being a high-class prostitute, obviously, but I'm better than that. I'm sure campaign donations to large political leaders in America is equally shady, possibly even more so thanks to corporations being people, and political donations being free speech, bizarrely), which seems reasonable enough to me. "We'll give you, the man who is supposed to be impartially deciding the rules of the nation, loads of money in exchange for time spent telling you what we would simply love it if you did. We may do this fairly frequently if it gets results." has the ring of untrustworthiness to it. Far be it from me to suggest giving politicians thousands of pounds would influence their decision-making, I'm merely saying it MIGHT. Protests thus far have been met in New York with the tiniest smidge of police brutality, and widespread condemnation at the fact that these people "Look funny" and "Don't have a cohesive message", despite the fact that the majority of Americans agree with the general thrust of the message which is "The American Dream is dead, and American Politics killed it". "Work hard, do your bit, and one day you could have YOUR retirement plan generously donated to global banks because of their shortcomings!" seems to be the gist of their social security system just now.

There's been a Greek general strike. Obvious jokes at the ready: "How did anyone notice?" and "What did they do differently?" and "Didn't that start around 440 BC with the release of Histories by Herodotus?". This is in protest at the aggressive austerity measures enforced in the face of their somewhat laid-back lifestyle (Retirement age of 61, the minor issue of not really paying the taxes they owe, etc). I sincerely doubt the strikes will cause Greece to go "Fine, let's go bankrupt! THAT'S a good idea! Jeez. For the country that invented democracy, we're not very good at it.". The Greek finance minister must be spending his days alternately hiding beneath his desk and telling his secretary to clear his appointments, and weeping in a therapist's office, saying "It all started when I was a boy, and I bought toys with money I didn't really have, on credit! You're right!".

That's enough news. We're done here.

Monday, 10 October 2011

LibDems are a lot like a First Love (Part 2)

The LibDems are a lot like first love. But there's always got to be a point where it all goes wrong. Where you're left wondering "What did I do? What could I have done better?". You've built up an identity around being a LibDem voter. All of a sudden, with a few injudicious choices that's not an option anymore. Sure it's fair to say there's blame on both sides. Did you really do everything you could do to be a better LibDem? Did they really do everything they could do to keep you voting LibDem? It's hard to say.

You start by looking at yourself, blaming yourself. "I could have done more. She let me down because I didn't give her any choices. I was a terrible party-voter.", but you soon snap out of it. You switch to denial. "She'll come back. She can't go on without me. It'll be fine. I'll be a better voter this time. I can change.", but after a bit of time has passed, it switches to anger. "She sold me out! I can't believe that two-faced cow of a political party! She said she loved me! She was just paying me lip-service! She was just using me! she's used people before me and she'll go on using people after me. I don't need her anyways!". Then you go to the classic third stage of grief: Bargaining. "I'll take her back if she repeals the Digital Economy Act. I'm sure she will. I can trust her if she does. Who cares about Tuition Fees? Everyone makes mistakes. She fell in with a bad crowd, what could she have done?".

Then you switch to depression. You wake up every morning thinking "God, I wish there was a political party that truly represented the best interests of me and the common man. Goddamn it!" and then roll over. They dominate your waking moments, the loss you feel. You've always identified yourself as a LibDem voter. What are you now? Just a floating voter? Back on the political market? You go out to political rallies, trying to see if another party will catch your eye, but you don't really feel it. There's only one party for you in your heart. The LibDems. But that's not an option anymore.

Eventually you arrive at acceptance. This is the stage where you write annoying blog posts comparing a seemingly meaningless political mishap to the genuine heartbreak of a relationship ending. You know that, perhaps, political monogamy isn't for you just yet, it's maybe too soon for you to be settling down with a political party for the rest of your life. You're still young. Perhaps there will be a time when, a few years from now, you bump into the LibDems at a news broadcast held by your mutual friend. You say to each other "You look well.", and there's still a little spark there. Time heals all wounds, and you begin to see the saucy glint in her that says "I'm as left wing as you're going to get from mainstream parties", and the chemistry flows. You've both grown up a little. Perhaps there's still a chance for the LibDems in your heart.