31 December 2009

Handbags and Glad Rags

Last night whilst out with friends, the subject turned - inevitably at this late time of year - to the annual compilation of the competition Dead Pool.


For reasons about which I am unclear, I was not permitted to have Frank Bough, but that's not the point.

Anyway, equally inevitably, thoughts turn more to hope than prediction, which - of course - means Margaret Thatcher's name comes up.

And a fully horrific thought struck me.

She's going to die about ten days before the 2010 General Election, isn't she?

Isn't she?

You can picture it if you try. The perfect opportunity for those unscrupulous bastards to exploit the moment. An Election Broadcast, In Memoriam.

There's one of those Big Video/film advert voiceover voices.

"Remember her commitment to modernising Britain..."

CUT TO THATCHER - "And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxism".

"Remember her victories abroad..."

CUT TO THATCHER - "Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the marines".

"Remember her victories at home..."

CUT TO THATCHER "We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and much more dangerous".

"Remember her compassion for all of us... "

CUT TO THATCHER - "There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women; and there are families".

"Margaret Thatcher may have gone, but you can honour her memory. Remember all that. Remember what she stood for. Remember Margaret Thatcher....

... And Vote Labour this polling day".

10 December 2009

Red facedbook

Steppy II has become a user of the Social Network phenomenon that is facebook. He's been on it for about a week and a half, and at last count had 86 "friends." For reasons that will become clear, we went through them this evening. There are about eight he doesn't actually know. There was one we have removed completely after a wee chat about the conversation we'd had last week in relation to the caution to be applied in the 'cyber'-world when one is only 11. The girl, who "looks about my age" and who approached him unilaterally, claiming to live in Washington DC has now gone.

An overreaction of ludicrous proportions; but a piece of theatre to make the point.

Anyway, the provocation for this little expedition around his facebook account came this evening after tea. One was looking at one's own facebook account, and the endless parade of status updates, when one espied a change in Steppy II's.

I showed it to Mrs Graph. "One knows not what to say!" quoth I.

"Too right, " she replied, with a slight smirk.

"Steppy II", I asked... "How was your day?"


"Good? Wow. Why was it 'good'"?

"Well, you know. Fine".

Concerned to ask again, in case it nose-dived from 'good' to 'fine' to 'average' to 'poor' to 'fucking horrible! All right?' I changed the subject.

"What have you done since you got in?"


"Nothing? What about homework"?

"Yeah. Homework".

"What about X Box"?

"Yeah. X Box".

"What about facebook"?




"Are you sure"?


"Are you totally sure"?


"Well, your facebook status changed 47 minutes ago".

"What!? Are you sure"?

"Yes. I'm looking at it".

"Well I didn't... What does it say"?

I glance at Mrs Graph. She shrugs.

"What does it say?"

"Erm... Have you given someone your password"?


"Well, I think you probably have, even if unintentionally"

"I have NOT! But why? What does it say"?

"It says... erm... 'I love willies'."

30 November 2009

Sea food and eat it...

I went for a very nice curry last night with Mrs Graph and Steppy II.

At the table Steppy II ran us through some of his more recently-learned, interesting facts.

"D'you know jellyfish? They're 95% water", he said.

"Are they not 95% jelly?" asked Mrs Graph.

"Yeah. And 5% fish", he grinned.

27 November 2009

Diät of worms

Nigel's making a lot of noise out there. Pissed up again. He's been on the Pils.

26 November 2009

The Counsel of Worms

There's a worm at the bottom of my garden, and his name is wiggly woo.

Well, actually it's Nigel, and he's a retired planner who worked for a local planning authority for 27 years before taking early retirement and becoming a 'Planning Consultant'. He largely advises people on how to win actions against his former planning colleagues whenever they seek to refuse applications for conservatories and mobile telephone masts in his customers own gardens.

With his pension he now earns more than he did when working full time for a salary. He has become active in local politics, but has been unable to win a seat on the Council which used to employ him, although he lost to the Conservative candidate at the last election by only 113 votes.

Nigel chooses to live in our garden because it's close to where his children - now teenagers - live with his estranged wife.

He had to take some time off work recently when Steppy II accidentally ran over him. Steppy II was on his bike, and crushed him slightly, in the general area of his clitellum. Steppy II apologised, and Nigel tried to go to work using his other end, but people spotted he was talking through his arse.

19 November 2009

Never give a sucker an even break...

Today I saw the Chief Executive of Dyson, the world's leading manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, deliver a presentation about the company. He was very illuminating.

James Dyson, its founder, began the company sixteen years ago, having invented a brilliant system which allows for the separation of dust from air through the clever use of centrifugal forces in such a way that the traditional vacuum cleaner bag is no longer required. That means the cleaner never loses suction.

Dyson invented this system in a building at the bottom of his garden. He went through 5, 127 prototypes before finally getting it right.

He then tried to persuade the major makers of vacuum cleaners, including both Hoover and Electrolux, to buy the invention and take up the idea for their own. They refused, partly because they were making so much money from selling replacement bags that they thought the system would destroy their profitability. One senior Hoover executive, a Mr Rutter, later expressed his regret at not taking Dyson up on the offer, stating that they should have bought the idea simply so they could shelve it.

Dyson decided to manufacture the cleaner himself. His company now operates in 48 countries world-wide, sells between 5 and 7 million units every year and is the biggest brand in that industry.

In other words he's gone from crazy science bloke in a shed to world domination in under two decades. Mad inventor to global supremacy in 16 years.

I thought Batman was supposed to stop that sort of thing!!! Exactly what are paying that useless fucker for??

29 October 2009

Net gains

Steppy II's maternal grandmother - Mrs Graph's Scottish mother - has always been supportive of Steppy II's aspirations to play for Manchester United; albeit that that is clearly morally wrong.

Today that support has extended to taking him shopping for a new pair of training shoes.

Whilst in the shops, along with Mrs Graph, a conversation was had about the decision of Steppy II's maternal grandmother's former neighbour's daughter - now aged 16 - to play netball for Scotland, qualifying through her own mother, also a Scottish woman.

Hell! That was a long and confusing sentence. I wonder how that happened.

Anyway, following the conversation about her choosing to play netball for Scotland, Steppy II's maternal grandmother said to him, "You could do that. I'm Scottish, so you could play for Scotland when you're older".

"But I'm rubbish at netball!" he protested.

7 October 2009

Five A Day

Mrs Graph has just told me that, yesterday, she bought Steppy II some blueberries for his breakfast this morning.

He loves blueberries, she says.

Anyway, when she got home tonight she went to the fridge for something else.

"Why didn't you have the blueberries for your breakfast?" she asked him, having seen them apparently untouched. "You LOVE blueberries!"

"I did!" he protested. "I had three".

5 October 2009

Brain Sell

I went last night, with my colleague Lisa, to meet Matt. Matt is a man we worked with on a big project a year and a half ago, and is back in the area working as a consultant. This meant he was visiting overnight.

I think he was trying to impress Lisa. He spent a LOT of time trying to explain that he had a sensitive personality. He's been assessed as quiet. And sensitive. An extrovert. But quiet and sensitive. He has a female brain, he says. Which is why he is so sensitive. And great at multi-tasking. Which, in turn, is why he's so good in the kitchen.

"I wouldn't want you to think," he said to her, "that it's more than a sensitive, female brain. The rest of me is all man, I can assure you".

From which I gathered that he was saying "I have a big knob. But, urghhhh, nnyyoooooo!!! I don't want to touch it!!!'

8 September 2009

Bean to school

Steppy II looked up over his tea this evening and said, "You know butterbean pie?" "Yes", said Mrs Graph...

"What kind of beans does it have in it?"

31 August 2009

Nuclear family; nuclear fishin'...

Mrs Graph called me into the garden this morning. She was astonished (as was I) to find that the goldfish we have had in our garden pond for three summers - there are four of them; three orange and one mottled black - have produced offspring. Very small as yet, but nonetheless very firmly in existence and jetting about looking for fish food.

Mrs Graph's sister and her daughter were also present, and as excited as Mrs Graph to discover the two wee newcomers. "We are parents!" exclaimed the delighted Mrs Graph.

"Maybe there are more", suggested sister.

"Oh, I think two's enough for anybody", said Mrs Graph.

27 August 2009

Mirror, mirror; on the ball....

We have returned from a brief trip to Berlin, Germany.

Whilst there we rented a flat from a well-known little-known German actor.

And a very lovely flat it was too.

In the bathroom it had one of those shaving mirrors which are reversible and have a normal-sized reflection, and a LOOOMING-sized reflection. When we arrived it was set up on the LOOOMING-side.

We flipped it over. But apparently not before Steppy II had used it.

"Why has the mirror stopped blowing faces up?", he asked at the end of the week.

6 August 2009

better offence and the topping of Cliff than a military ambulance at the bottom...

It turned out last year, that - as the Brits have suspected all along - a most dastardly untruth, a despicable calumny, a vile deceit was perpetrated by one of their so-called 'European neighbours'.

It may have taken over three decades for the truth to come out. It may have been the work of a 'former' leader (a well-known and universally-loathed fascist dictator). And it may well be that they have joined the European Union since then and are all 'friends'.

But what has been revealed requires nothing less than a full Parliamentary Declaration of War.

Cliff was cheated into second place in the 1968 Eurovision Song contest by Spain. Franco.

The evil, lowdown, cheating fascist scum.

And Spain and Franco are no better.

It's all his own fault. He shouldn't have been messing about with the fascist regimes in the first place. We guess it started with his foray into far-right politics in 1966 with 'Blue Turns To Grey' (clearly a reference to the uniforms worn by oppressive regimes in the Far East), and followed later that year with his "In The Country" - a hymn to the invasion of socialist republics. The power-crazed lunacy reached it's peak in 1973, with Power To All Our Friends, in which he runs through a wish-list of right-wing figures he hopes rise or return to power - Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, Mother Teresa, Mao Tse Deng and Ronald Reagan.

Increasingly bitter, however, in his advancing years about the failure of what he regards as "liberating dictatorship politics" Sir Cliff Richard has made clear, through 'friends', that he still awaits the rise of what he regards as the firm smack of right-wing totalitarianism.

That is, allegedly, one of the reasons for the ending of his relationship with Sue Barker. She, as a radical revolutionary communist, was simply bored to tears by trying to convince him of the value of the Marxist dialectic, and the need to ensure the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Well... he agreed with the dictatorship of the proletariat bit, just not in the way she meant it.

She refused to indulge him in the firm smack of totalitarianism.

In consequence, of course, Cliff has turned to the most powerful repressive force on the planet.


It can't be doubted that his regular appearances in the world media, starting in Coronation Street many years ago, have been solely motivated by his desire to evangelise right-wing politics. His decision to continue broadcasting under the assumed name "Rush Limbaugh" has obviously drawn some public criticism. Less public is that he is, in fact, the shadowy figure behind the Rupert Murdoch media empire. His close personal friendship with Signor Berlusconi is very well documented.

Less well known is his involvement in a Nationalist Death Patrol called the "Blazin' Squad". Nasty.

1 August 2009

... then just poo-poo the whole thing...

For some years I have had a game I play with the kids in our family. It started with Steppy II, moved to the niece and I'm now trying it on niece II. It involves me making up sentences in a false language which sounds vaguely Eastern European, and most importantly - in the middle of long, rambling outbursts - it always contains the words "poo-poo finger". To the extent that the language has become known as 'poo-poo finger'.

Because kids think that's hilarious. Poo-poo finger.

This afternoon, we went to a wedding reception, and plonked ourselves (in both the sense of 'sat down' and 'drank wine') outside in the gazebos whilst it rained and rained and rained...

Anyway; in the midst of the deluge I decided to try to entertain niece II with an burst of poo-poo finger. Actually, it was unsuccessful, as she is too young to 'get' it - having not yet developed any language of her own.

As I left, the Best Man stopped me. "Did I hear you speaking Polish?", he asked, threateningly ...

28 July 2009

You brought me to my niece

The younger steppy, the recently girlfriended Steppy II, has just returned from a 'PGL' holiday.

That's Parents Get Lost for those of our readers who are unaware.

And actually the getting lost part is reasonable easy, as the whole thing is based in the middle of some vast rural wasteland, miles from the nearest hint of a city (or civilisation as we must learn to call it).

His cousin, my niece, also went. It's the second time she's been. She is now eight.

On being picked up at the end of the week by Mrs Graph, the two climbed into the car.

The niece looked at her mother (Mrs Graph's sister) and - bearing in mind they hadn't seen each other for a full eight days - uttered the immortal words, "I was sick. But I swallowed it again."

14 July 2009

Kiss my asthma

The younger steppy has a 'girlfriend'!

For an 11 year old this is quite something, I suspect.

Of course, he hasn't actually revealed this to anybody himself.

His wee pal Dominic has blabbed.

Apparently the 'girlfriend' concerned - Ellie - asked the steppy if he would go out with her.

He said he'd think about it.

Two days later he accepted.

Dominic told all of this to Mrs Graph when visiting the other evening. Heh heh.

Dominic was asked "What is this Ellie like then?"

He replied, "She has asthma".

24 June 2009

Taxing one's patience

Taxes are, as Benjamin Franklin famously said, one of the two things that are certain in life - the other being death.

Why do you suppose he didn't mention death and taxis? Because taxis cannot be certain in life even when you have been told what time they will arrive.


The fact is that all taxi companies are laughing up their sleeves at us because we are being lied to.

"He'll be there in ten minutes".

"He's just coming into your road now".

"He's been once and no-one was there."

How many times have we heard these lies?

And why? Because they know they've got you over a barrel.


Think about it. You book the cab for, say, eight o'clock. It's ten past when you first ring to enquire as to its whereabouts.

"He's two minutes away, love" is the reply.


Never where it is, just how long you can expect to wait before... you have to make the next phone call.

Ten minutes later you call again. It's two minutes away.

Five minutes after that it arrives.

The problem is that we know they're lying and we let them get away with it. Because we know that to tell them, "Ah sod it - I'll ring someone else", is too great a risk.

You can't be sure any other firm can deliver a taxi to where you are waiting faster than your already-ordered cab is going to be late, and you know that even if they say they can, they won't and you're only adding more time on to your already annoying wait the inevitable lateness of Taxi Firm Two.

Because you know they're all as bad as each other.

And they know that too.

So... how does it end?

We have to bite the bullet. We have to start cancelling. We have to start walking away. We have to start standing them up and getting in rival cab companies' cars without ringing the first lot so that their lateness costs them money.

We need a register of taxi firms' abuses, published weekly in our local papers, so we can name and shame the lying bastards.

We have to start making bookings with the expression that "time is of the essence" and refusing to pay the full fare when they turn up late.

We'll learn them and we'll learn them good. So good they stay learned!

We can end these abuses! We can fight this fight! Other people agree with us! We can; we must lead the charge against death by taxis!

My taxi was late last night.

7 June 2009

Brown stuff

A number of our regular readers have been writing with questions about the British political system, particularly in the light of recent difficulties for Prime Minister Brown.

One question we found most intriguing was sent in an email entitled simply "semantics". It read, "Why is the process of changing a British cabinet called a reshuffle? Surely it's just a shuffle".

Actually the term 'reshuffle' isn't anything to do with shuffle in the sense of shuffling cards. It comes from the french verb 'reshuffler', meaning 'to dive back into the shit'.

15 May 2009

What Difference Does I Make?

You owe me. Big style. Really, really big.

I have reformed The Smiths.

Oh yes! Now you feel humble, don't you? I have reformed The Smiths.

Frankly, I got fed up of all the "will they?/won't they?" BS that has been going on, so I intervened. I have acted. And decisively.

Obviously it won't feature Morrissey, because... well a) he's feeling a bit poorly and c) if it was going to feature Morrissey then I wouldn't have had to intervene, would I? You ARE paying attention aren't you?

So. anyway, I sought a replacement on vocals.

'Ersatz daff wielder wanted - apply within'.

Having sifted the applications I whittled it down to three.

The notes read; "Hadley - right period; wrong genre, too desperate. André - more desperate. All wrong. Astley - right period, close enough with the hair, man's voice. In."

Johnny Marr is not strictly joining in either, citing 'total indifference'.

He will be replaced by Billy Bragg just as soon as Mr Bragg's agent returns my emails. This does mean The Smiths will be a bit clangier than before, and that they will do some Billy Bragg songs.

That should broaden the fan base.

And of course Rourke and Joyce will not be allowed in The Smiths because a) they never actually have been and d) Morrissey can't get on with either of them.

I have approached Lou from the Red Guitars - below, first, centre - and the drummer from Bogshed - below, second (maybe) one of them - with a view to getting them all to rehearsals next Thursday.

I have done the world a favour, you'll agree. And the world will listen.

14 May 2009

Sticking point

We were swapping very poor old jokes over chicken and vegetable pie this evening. I went for the one about the man who goes into a bar with his giraffe, and begins buying rounds for the both of them, to the amazement of the bar staff. After eight pints the giraffe collapses in a heap on the floor. The man has two more pints and makes to leave. "Oi", yells the landlord gesturing towards the comatose animal, "you can't leave that lying there".

"It isn't a lion; it's a giraffe", says the man.

In the midst of this, the elder steppy proved once again what a towering intellect we have amongst us. "Here's an old one," said Mrs. Graph, "what's brown and sticky?" "Ooh, ooh. I, like, know this", yells elder steppy in order to prove she can actually remember something. "It's... it's... it's... a TWIG!!"

Words fail.

I thought it was the position of the Prime Minister...

10 May 2009

In bloom?

Last Saturday was "World Naked Gardening Day".


It's good to know somebody's paying attention...


6 May 2009

Rocket launcher

It amazes me that people aren't aware of the link between motor racing and salad.

Only this evening I had to explain again to Mrs Graph (who had chided me for buying wild rocket rather than taking it from that bunch which she is growing in the garden) that wild rocket is not the same as domestic rocket. By definition; it's wild. Which means it has to be caught. And - as I would have assumed most right-thinking folk would have spotted from its name - it moves pretty bloody quickly!

Anyway, as a direct result of the extraordinary speed it exhibits in its native environment, we now have motor racing.

In the farming regions around Torino (called in English Turin, but actually more accurately translated as Tureen) it was regarded as the finest of leaves with which to flavour the locally produced soups - 'Zuppa Torino' identifying the local pot in which a variety of zuppe were concocted.

As demand for the zuppe grew, so too did the voracious requirement for greater and greater harvests of wild rocket (Rucola). The more that needed to be harvested, the fewer and further between seemed the 'Rocket Men' (Uomini Ruchetta) who were paid to capture the Eruca sativa.

One of those whose livelihood depended upon the successful chase was Ferrucio Lamborghini, born in 1876. His small farm, high in the hills of the Appenini at Renazzo, Cento, (ironically in the region of Ferrara) was insufficient to support his sizeable Catholic family. For that reason he began marauding further and further afield, reaching far west to the outskirts of Torino; netting wild rocket across that vast hinterland.

Greedy for the rewards the peppery brassica could bring, in 1891 (at the age of just 17) Ferrucio designed and built two rapid, narrow, single-seater vehicles equipped with a wide blade across the front for the sole purpose of hacking down the flying rocket plant. As he and his 15 year-old brother Miura raced across the Italian 'Steppi', the world was first introduced to the sport named later after the wild rocket itself, which was at that time so desired as to be referred to as"Principal in the Recipe" - in Italian 'Uno di Formule' - Formula One.

4 May 2009

Mein Dreck

Sebastian Deisler retired from football at the age of 27, through injury and depression.

"Guten Morgen Herr Doktor.

"Ja, here mit mich ist schtill nicht zo gut. In denen nachts am Ich vakink mit der zound of Der Great Eskape drillink shrew mein earen, und zen iss startink ze veepink, ven Ich bin seeink again fur meinzelf ze miss I am makink in scoreline schtill at ein ein.

"Funfen - Ein. Funfen gebassted - Ein.

"Und schtill heare Ich den ge-zingink aus den Englische crauden, mit der "Caaaaarsten Jancker - ist ein striker, ist ein striker.."

"Und in mein meind bin Ich zeeink ze faces aus ze Mikkel Erven, Escherlei Kohl, and - wurst of alles - den vizzedge aus Erven Hargreeaven vitch vass ein freunden mit mein, aber in den dreemink ist he mit ze gloatink, gloatink, gloatink..

"Ich wudder nicht bin gemeindink, aber er didde nicht kommt on bis den siebentich-achtische minuten".

30 April 2009

Hurts. Van. Mental!

My declaration of war took effect rather sooner than I might have expected. This morning I was knocked off my Vespa by what was clearly an introvert driving a fruit and vegetable delivery van. Didn't even stop.

I will be avenged. Don't think it ends there.

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it might be the end of this sentence.

Why Animals Eat Their Young - A Translation

Pseudograph have received a surprisingly high number of requests (particularly from overseas readers) asking for a translation of the conversation between the two vapid in-breeds which is documented in the post entitled "Why Animals Eat Their Young". We are happy to oblige.

"I dislike her intensely and regard her as a silly, bovine type. I cannot understand why she feels the need to copy my personal style of dress".
"I have heard also a suggestion that she is having sexual intercourse with Martin, a man with tattoos".
"Personally, I would not choose to have sexual intercourse with that particular gentleman, if you follow me".
"I wonder if you have heard the MP3 recording I have recently purchased on-line and saved to my mobile telephony device".
"I don't believe I have. Is it not the well-known recording artist Sam Sparrow?"
"That is correct".
"It would not surprise me in the least if the individual we referred to earlier, whom we regard as a silly, bovine type has also purchased the same tune. I dislike her intensely".

29 April 2009

War Is NOT Over. Give E-N-T-Ps A Chance

So; last week, as part of my revision for a professional exam I was sitting the next day, I explained to the group that I was with, that - unlike them - (a bunch of I-S-somethings, or 'GEEKS' as we should learn to call them) my own learning style (a consequence of my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), requires conversation; and so as a result I was looking forward to spending the full day discussing the revision subject with them all.

They voted to end the revision day early, and break up after lunch.

So they could all go back to their rooms and "reflect" and "cram".

WARNING - An expletive is about to appear. Maybe two.

The fucking bastards!!

I get all this stuff about how I'm supposed to manage my personality type, especially where it impacts on introverts, so I'm open and honest - and I get shafted by them. The fucking bastards.

And then, of course, the next day I get dragged into introvert (died and gone to) Heaven - the examination. That's three hours of solitary effort; timed to the second; overseen by some stony-faced, silent gauleiter and designed to demonstrate isolated knowledge, without interaction with any other human being, from within the confines of the brain and how much of the "facts and data and process and systems" has been "crammed".

No interaction; no ideas; no creativity...

Go on. Tell me exams were designed by an extravert... Go on! You can't, can you? Because they bloody weren't. If they'd let us design that sort of thing it would have meant everybody down the pub; loads to drink; loads of laughing and talking; big arguments and no fallings out, and top marks to the person who said the one thing you might remember through your hangover the next morning. Everyone else gets a pass mark anyway, for being a good egg.

Introversion tyranny, that's what it is. Insularity fascism.

Let's be honest. It is becoming clearer by the day that the real divisions in this world are not between sexes, races, religions, political beliefs, straight and gay, blah blah blah... They're between us - the talkative, sociable, imaginative... hang on what was it... "energetic, brash, witty and original" (especially original) and them. The accountants.

Bloody accountants. And 'systems analysts'. And 'operations managers'. Bastards. And 'invigilators'.

And these very real divisions need to explained in the starkest possible terms;

In short: it's War.

27 April 2009

It's My(ers-Briggs) Party and I'll Cry If I-(S-F-Js) Want Me To...

This 'first and right' thing actually happens beacause of my personality type.

I am forgetful too. It's not a age thing. I always have been. I have a scatter-brained approach to life.

Both are explained wholly by my personality type which is (in Myers-Briggs terms) E-N-T-P.

That means I am, apparently "energetic, brash, witty and original; wanting to be where the action is but on my terms. I may need to be aware of unintentionally bruising the feelings of others through my love of argument and of having the last word".

In a recent assessment I was described, by a colleague, as "cultivating that somewhat ramshackle persona as a way of disarming people".

Up to that point I hadn't been aware that I had a ramshackle persona.

So what was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Being forgetful. And needing to have the last word on everything in an argumentative kind of way.

It's probably true.

But I am trying really hard to do the self-improvement thing.

/mantra: I recognise that my Myers-Briggs type indicator is an explanation for my behaviour, and not an excuse for it. /exit: mantra. Sigh.

I am trying to moderate what others believe to be my worst personality excesses. Apparently I can do this, "through prioritising time"; "through practising and improving listening skills"; "through realising that competence at absolutely everything is impossible"; "through getting enough rest and exercise"; "through getting in closer touch with feelings and learning to express them"; "through being sensitive to impact on others, holding back from abrasive comments"; amongst other things. The Myers-Briggs people recommend these changes.

Fuckin' ell. That sounds like torture.

They were a US mother and daughter team, were Myers and Briggs.

They claim that - apart from needing the last word (ridiculous) and being abrasive (AS IF!! ) - at my very worst, I may "be argumentative, (nope) succumb to hypochondria, (never) have tantrums, (unknown) feel unloved and unlovable, (preposterous) withdraw from others and neglect self." (poppycock)

Well at least I remember that there's an 'H' in yoghurt you patronising, new-world wankers!!!

You people make me bloody sick.

I won't bother even eating one tomorrow. And then I'll die and you'd be sorry if anybody actually even cared about me, which they don't.

26 April 2009

Saints Go Frog-Marching In

I was listening to the radio this morning.

That's the 'wireless' for those of you over fifty, the 'crystal set' for those over seventy and the "what the hell is that box making a noise in the corner?" for those of you over one hundred and four. Anyway, I digress.

There was a fellow on the radio, about to give the sports report. He was doing the 'two-way' with the main presenter about some breezy, chit-chatty thing they were talking about, and - as part of his reply - he indicated that a particularly smart-arsey listener knew more about SAINTS than he.

"There's a word for that; knowing about saints", he opined, "But I can't remember what it is".

"I dunno", says main presenter chap.

"You have four minutes to find out, while I talk about sport", grinned Sport boy.

Now, you need to know that at that point I was shouting "HAGIOGRAPHY!!! HAGIOGRAPHY!!! IT'S BLOODY HAGIOGRAPHY!!!!!" at the crystal set. I, clad in a towel - having recently emerged from the shower - reached for the mobile phone and desperately typed in the message, "He's looking for the word Hagiography!", so I could send it to the presenter.

The text message would not send.


This was stressful to the point of almost causing the regurgitation of my scrambled eggs and muffins. It wouldn't fucking send!

Four minutes later, Sport boy asks if presenter boy has got it.

"Nope", says dopey, "the internet just brings up Southampton Football Club..."

Oh. Ho, ho ho.

By this point I was too exhausted with stress to even shout again, and had collapsed on the bed grinding my teeth with unhappiness.

"I've remembered!", exclaims Sport bloke, "It's"..."Hagiography", we said together.

Dammit! I wanted to be right. Me. I did.

And the bloody text would not send.

That was a terrible start to the day.

I don't know why that happens, by the way. Well, either of those things. I don't know why I have an overwhelming urge to be first and right about everything. And I don't know why I know that the word is HAGIOGRAPHY. I just do.

There may be something intrinsically wrong with that.

The rest of my day was like a supermarket. Bright; loud; filled with people who don't want to have to interact with me; likely going to cost too much money, and not somewhere anybody would choose to spend the whole day.

I do not mean I spent the whole day pushing a trolley around; choosing between brands of tinned goods; squashing fresh bread and trying to work out which aisle had the most attractive check-out operative.

It was like a supermarket for the first list of reasons. Okay?!

I may have over-extended an already flimsy metaphor there... That may have been what caused that faint snapping noise some time around the words "likely going to cost too much money".

And now, to put the fecking tin lid on it, I realise we were both wrong. Intrinsically. Wrong.

Me and Sport boy - both utterly, devastatingly, depressingly and intrinsically wrong.

It should have been hagiology.

25 April 2009

Multiverse comes to worst

This man's father invented the idea of Parallel Universes.

How proud would you be if your Dad had been the Quantum Physicist who developed and created the idea of Parallel Universes? Mental!

To make matters worse (in 'furiously jealous already' terms) he (the man in the picture) is also the man behind one of the coolest bands in modern music.

But we're not here to talk about him. Except in a parallel universe where I am writing this exact message at this exact moment, but about the guy in the picture and NOT his Dad.

And in another one where I am the guy in the picture, and he was MY Dad.

And another one where the Dad never existed and neither did you, but the blue Polar Bear is your Dad anyway...

I could get lost in the parallel universe thing. But how cool would THAT be? Lost in a parallel universe! Except in a parallel universe where you wouldn't be lost in a parallel universe at all. Lost and not lost at the same time! How cool is that?

Except where it's not, obviously.

I have a colleague who argues that restructuring of our organisation at a Quantum Level is the easiest way to realise efficiencies. Her basic position is that we would and could get more done if we harnessed the parallel selves that exist in the parallel universes - or the multiverse to be more precise - and (given that we now know that electrons, photons and the like can be in more than one place at once) travelled within the multiverse, thereby allowing more than one of our selves to conduct our work affairs in any given reality. Inevitably that would mean only an infinitesimally small number of our infinite selves would be required. That would certainly get things done.

Although it's also true to say I'd get more done if she stopped spouting that hippy shit at me as well.

I have also pointed to her that such free movement of an infinite number of pseudographs (NOT actually the name I'm known by at work! ) would in fact cost a fortune in accommodation and desks. And phones. And similar stuff.

21 April 2009

"...natural species are chosen not because they are 'good to eat' but because they are 'good to think'..."

Diet is so important.

Actually it's important that I go on a diet, but that isn't my point; I mean that the foods that people eat as individuals and societies determine, to a large degree, their cultures. Those foods are, in turn, largely determined - at least traditionally - by geography and climate, and - most importantly - by where you can grow spuds and what local animal tastes best with them...

I don't think this is an original thought. I suspect Lévi-Strauss of articulating it first.

Actually I suspect Lévi-Strauss of a great many things, including the theft of my mother's prize-winning tea caddy and being the owner of a sizeable, world-class collection of antimacassars; but that's not important right now...

It must be important though - if one wants to be wholly aware in the global economy, and to fully understand the multi-cultural society - to try as many of those animals as one can, preferably with the children of the spud; fries (or chips as the British call them).

So I have made a start.

I mean, a start over and above the obvious meats of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Or, more properly, cow, pig, sheep and chicken (why hasn't the poor chicken been given a disguise to use when it's cooked)?

I have eaten duck, pheasant, grouse, partridge, reindeer, rabbit, goat, snails, octopus, squid, eels, whelks, mussels, oyster, lobster, crab, swordfish, stork, trout, cod, haddock, hoki, shark (in the form of hakarl and otherwise), puffin... and so many more.

Egrets? I've had few, But then again, too few to mention.

And, actually, when I say stork, I do really mean the margarine.

20 April 2009

You're gonna find me; out in the contrary...

I like the idea that there are words that have no opposite in the language.

Why does nobody pleased ever describe themselves as gruntled? Can we ever have an outbreak of social rest? Why isn't a tidy person said to be shevelled? Is a moment of clarity achieved when one is combobulated?

“Without Contraries is no progression”. William Blake said that. Contrary bastard.

Hegel thought so too, and Marx agreed with him, but also completely disagreed.

Blake also painted pictures of dragons.

Hegel didn't.

Opposed them, I suppose.

Sylvia Plath was fascinated not by opposites, but by doubles; as was Dostoevsky who also had a thing, as we have discovered, for non-existant, peculiarly-coloured Polar Bears....

Goddamit!!!! He did it again!

Anyway, David Lynch has a thing about both doubles and opposites. 'Lost Highway' seems to be about a single character separated from himself in a momentary life event and completely different from himself, while in 'Twin Peaks' Maddie is Laura Palmer's exact double, which is why she has to die at the hands of Bob - a demon rapist from a room that apparently exists in the woods in the minds of each of us. 'Mulholland Drive' is shaped like a mobius strip, only in narrative form, rather than the kind of paper people used to use for Christmas decorations. 'Wild at Heart' is about a couple lost in a violent unreality, controlled by a man with a thin moustache. 'Eraserhead' is about the male fear of rejection and birth, and 'The Straight Story' is about a man on a tractor.

You read that right. A man on a tractor.

On a tractor.

Driving across America.

On a John Deere tractor.

David Lynch is bloody weird sometimes.

19 April 2009

Why Animals Eat Their Young

Teenagers. In general. There's another detestable thing.

In particular I hate the bloody yacking they feel they have to do at full volume on any kind of public transport, as if their shallow, brainless, half-formed little lives were of ANY interest to anybody but themselves.

Why do they need to shout at people they are sitting next to? Why do they swear their fucking heads off? Why do they feel the need to play music in public places without using headphones!!?? It was bad enough when we could all hear that 'ttsssiiittsss tssiss tssiiss ttsssittsss bump ttsssiiittsss tssiiss tssiiss ttsssiiittsss bump' thing going on because they had decided to prematurely end any chance of avoiding deafness by cranking up personal (note that - "PERSONAL")
stereos so loudly that we could all sing along. But now they're using mobile phones to play their crappy dance music to the whole bus!!

This morning there were a couple of vapid in-breeds at the back of the bus. Shouting at each other.

"Ah feckin' 'ate 'er Ah do. Silly cyow. Wah do she alwerrs 'ave to go out in clerthes like whar Ah do?"

"And Ah've 'eard she's shagging that Martin blerk. You knerr, 'im wif ve ta-ooze"

"Ah wunt feckin' touch 'im wih yaws, kner warrameen?"

"'Ere. 'Av you 'eard ma noo dahnlerd? S'on me fern".

"Sam Sparrer, innit?"

"Fuckin' IS , yeah".

"I beh she's gorrih. Silly cyow. I feckin' 'ate 'er".

I'm glad we all heard that.

There was a time when bus drivers took some responsibility for their passengers, and would have dealt promptly and brutally with shouting, swearing, smoking, fornication, playing of loud music loudly, the duffing up of old dears, fishing without a licence and the building of outhouses on the bus without planning permission. These days they let it just go on around them. And more importantly around us passengers.

It's a lack of customer focus, that's what it is. They don't get paid well enough to care either. And we don't pay enough to be cared about. It's the curse of public service industries. All are assumed to be second-class services for third-class people.

I blame Thatcher.

And I'm fed up with it. Just last week as I went to get off at my stop I had to fight my way through some bloke's hastily constructed garden shed.

I wouldn't have minded, but I fell over his bike.

18 April 2009

Chi-hua-hua-hua defiler

My cousin once bought a chihuahua puppy. She spent hundreds of pounds on the bloody thing, and that was in the 1970s.

They are - like The Queen - very expensive small animals indeed.

She waited for it for weeks after paying and ordering, took it home, threw an arrival party for the bloody thing, put it to bed in the kitchen in its cushioned pooch basket with specially minced grade 'A' meat in it's dinky wee chihuahua bowl nearby (next to the cat's milk bowl) and carefully closed the door so it couldn't get out.

She came downstairs the next morning to find that cat had eaten the bloody thing.


16 April 2009

All of us are into Agutter; some of us are being looked at by stars...

People don't believe this, but I have a stalker.

I understand that that, in and of itself, seems to most people to be (how can I put this?) 'unlikely'.

I know that 'stalkers' have become something associated with celebrities, and I understand why, but people have forgotten that legislation has had to be passed to prevent, or at least, deter stalking, not just for celebrities, but for ordinary people too.

So, people doubt the very existence of my stalker.

However, the real difficulty comes when I tell people who it is. They move very quickly from the facial expression which suggests they think it''s 'unlikely' to the facial expression which suggests that they're thinking, "Oh my God, I always knew he was mad, but he's clearly tipped right over the edge and needs sedation, preferably with a very large dose of something and a swing from a baseball bat which keeps him asleep for long enough for me to get away".

Which is VERY harsh.

Just because I'm being stalked by Jenny Agutter.

I have only actually spotted her twice. But then stalkers aren't known for their openness, are they?

She could be there all the time. Using a spyglass, or binoculars, or even having me tracked by satellite from outer space. Let's face it - she has the wealth to do that. And plenty of time on her hands. She may even have my phone bugged, or have paid friends to report to her about me.

But it's happening. Oh, it's happening.

I bet she follows me everywhere.

The first time I saw her was between the mainland vaporetto stop and the airport at Venice. I was just leaving Venice after a week there. She pretended to be going in the opposite direction.


And at the time I believed that. I remember commenting, "Oh wow. I just walked past Jenny Agutter", and that seemed to be that. A chance passing on the street with a former child film star. Cool.

But then, just six or seven weeks later, I saw her again. Hundreds of miles away. Somewhere I shouldn't have been. I was at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. I had gone there to see Le Nozze di Figaro with a friend of mine for a birthday celebration.

And there she was.

Oh, she was clever. I didn't spot her until the interval. But there she was.

I turned to my friend and said, "Do you see that woman? She seems familiar. Who IS that"? as if I didn't know. But the sudden fear that had gripped me meant I wanted to be sure. Needed to be sure. "Jenny Agutter" she replied. "And over there to our right is that woman from the Apprentice. Look". But I couldn't look. All I could see was the terror made flesh. The stalker. Agutter.

I haven't seen her since. She must have got sneakier. Smarter. Better at hiding. Longer lenses. I can guess at all the small places in which she secretes herself to carry on her little campaign. High windows. Crowds. Dark doorways. Behind the coat section in TK Maxx. Behind a newspaper with eyeholes cut out in the park. Disguised as a labrador dog on the bus. But I can't catch her at it. If I could, I could move to get an injuction.

One day I will get the proof, get the police and she will go to prison for a long time.

It's a shame really. I always enjoy The Railway Children.

15 April 2009

A moment of clarity...

The elder steppy asked tonight, "Why isn't it called a teethbrush?"

Let mortals beware of words, for with words we lie...

"Tell me I'm a tourist in the fourth dimension".

What kind of a request is that? Silly man.

Although it would probably be nice if one were a tourist in it. Whatever it is...

If I learned my physics all rightly at school, the three dimensions are height, width and weight, , so the fourth must be distance.

Or time.

Space is a long distance away and takes time to reach... So a tourist in the fourth dimension must be someone travelling in space and /or time then! Michael Stipe thinks he's Doctor Who!!

God, I'm great at interpreting lyrics.

Here are some more examples of my skill with lyrical interpretation...

"She's buying a stairway to Heaven"? - She is procuring drugs and is going to use them herself to get high.

"The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind"? - I have procured drugs and am going to use them myself to get high. Outdoors.

"I feel stupid, and contagious"? - My wife is procuring drugs for me, I am going to use them to get high and it will all end badly.

"Somewhere a king has no wife, And the wind, it cries Mary"? - Kurt Cobain's wife has gone out procuring drugs and he is using cannabis to get high. Outdoors.

It's really very simple when you know how.

Some songs don't need that much work to sort out. Like instrumentals. Or ones with hardly any words.

I think it was Elton John's 'Song For Guy' which said simply, "Life... isn't everything. Isn't everything. Isn't Everything."

Which is easy to figure out.

That song was released in 1978 on the album, 'A Single Man', which means it was probably recorded in late 1977. Probably on a Thursday.

London Zoo's most famous resident, Guy the Gorilla, died in 1978.

Do you see? It's right there! Elton had some kind of premonition that the gorilla was going to die, and soothed its passing with some nice simple words of comfort that even a speechless primate could understand. It kind of makes you hope the gorilla heard the song, doesn't it?

But don't get me started on 'Clair' by Gilbert O'Sullivan. That's wrong. Plain wrong.

Stipe went on, "Hey, what's the big deal - I'm an animal". Perhaps not as much as some other people, eh Gilbert?

Anyway, that's enough for now. Hi-ho Silver... AWAY!!!!

I am vibrating at the speed of light.

14 April 2009

Anyone who had an art...

Bananas are funny, aren't they?

Well, no. I actually don't mean they're funny in the 'laughing because they're amusing in a comedy way' way. They're not. Although for many years some people have been stupidly trying to convince us to laugh at them in a comedy way as if they are. But they're not.

And people don't look amusing dressed as bananas; and people don't slide on them in the street and fall over on their arses; and they don't appear in Woody Allen's best films.

No, I mean they're funny in the "Dear God, what IS that??" way.

There's one in our kitchen now, well past it's best, and half-covered in sequins.


Apparently that's called "homework".

I hate Art Students. The other day the elder steppy was explaining that she is doing a piece of art work at college which involves taking a cafetière, and covering half of it with glue and then coating the glue with ground coffee. How cool! What a statement! Something profound about the human condition... Do you see what that's about?

No. Me neither. It's ART. So there.

I may still be feeling a little grumpy today.

Anyway, I tried to help. I suggested she could glue the other half, and cover that in marijuana in its 'grass' form. Or maybe some hemp seeds.



Coffee pot.

COFFEE - POT. Do you see?

Apparently that was "Like, STOO-pid. Derr".

I don't get art. Apparently.

And I hate Art Students.

This evening there was a TV programme about teenage pregnancy. One young woman decided - against the clear advice of the doctor, nurse and anaesthetists, to have a caesarean section under anaesthetic, which meant she wasn't awake as the baby was delivered.

The steppy announced, "That's, like, just so, like, weird. They could have, like, swapped her baby for someone else's and she, like, wouldn't have even, like, known"?


13 April 2009

Man goes for a drink...

Today, I had a nice drink with my lunch. It was called "Valencia Orange Juice and crushed Alphonso Mango".

I'd drunk it before I realised: Crushed Alphonso Mango.

The heartless bastards.

The Alphonso Mango!! The flamboyant Puerto Rican Cha-cha-cha maestro! The reigning king of Guajira rhythm!

Alphonso Mango (pictured with sister Kesar)

I didn't even know he was ill.

That's not nice. Those mercantile types have ground up his remains and mixed them into Valencia Orange? Disgraceful. Not even the decency to issue an obituary, or offer a percentage of the profits to his family...

The world's gone mad, I tell you.

Interestingly, the original Latin name of Valencia was Valentia, meaning "Strength", "Vigour". The city was named after Emperor Valens who ordered the foundation of a new colony in Hispania. During the rule of the Muslim Empires in Spain, it was known as Balansiya in Arabic.

There's not much strength or vigour in our Alphonso now, though.

I wouldn't mind, but he was allergic to orange juice.

And he hated Valencia.

I wonder what his sister's up to.

11 April 2009

One who can only find his way by loon might...

A man is entitled to his dreams, isn't he?

Like the one I have about the family of very small people who live inside the lid of a jar of marmalade. Or the one with the ever-expanding cushion. Or the one where the train chases me through the garden of crazy-paving until my foot gets trapped between the broken pavers and I wake up just as it's about to hit me.

I don't much like that one.

Or the one about the cushion, come to that. Suffocation isn't pretty.

Why is the train a steam train? And why do I imagine that a train can chase me around, constantly rolling track out in front of itself so it can continue the pursuit? And why do I get that dream when I have a cold?

Chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff; chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff...

And why do people think they are more likely to have dreams when they eat cheese before they go to bed? I really can't think why that would work...

8 April 2009

Days-ed and Confused

Anyway, it turns out that the Sunday after next is Introspection Sunday.

National Introspection Day to give it its full title, as sponsored by the United Kingdom & International Standing Committee for Introspective Studies.


I wonder how long they thought about that...

There should be more stuff like that, I think.

We kind of have National No-Smoking Day, and International Noise Awareness Day, and Earth Day, and Real Nappy Week, and Take Our Daughters and Sons Into Work Day, and International Make-A-Wish Day, and International Left-Handers Day (Hi-diddly-ho!), and World Smile Day, and World Architecture Day and World Teachers' Day and Walk A Dog To School Day, and Seed Gathering Sunday, and Feed The Birds Day, and International Stammering Awareness Day, and Bug Busting Day ("Headlice Beware!") and Wear It Pink Day, World Wetlands Day and National Potato Day, and Safe Internet Day, Gold Heart Day, and Bacon Connoisseurs Week, and International Mother Language Day and One Bin Day, World Thinking Day, and Work Your Proper Hours Day and Tree Dressing Day, and International Mountain Day, and National Badger Day, and....

We just don't do enough of that sort of thing... Sigh.

I would want to be responsible for International Sadness Celebration Day.

That'd confuse things.

Bear necessi-tease...

It is said that Fyodor Dostoevsky once told his brother to spend the rest of his life "not thinking about a blue polar bear".

Clever is that.

But VERY annoying.

I first heard that when I was about 15, and have subsequently spent the rest of my life thinking about how Fyodor Dostoevsky once told his brother to spend the rest of his life "not thinking about a blue polar bear".


I wonder though; what are the things we spend our lives not thinking about? And how would we know? I can't think of any.

But then I'm so stupid that I can't spell the word wheeblarrowe.

7 April 2009

Wrongs in the keys of wife...

So last night, a Monday, the elder steppy stayed out until quite long gone 11. Upon returning home she discovered that the door had been locked (by her Ma) and that the keys had accidentally been left in it. This meant she couldn't get in. Ho hum.

Knocking on the door to attract attention is therefore required. Fortunately, I was awake and downstairs (probably writing some drivel about Jack Nance) and was able to let her in. However I pointed out quite gently that she might not be so lucky always and that it might not hurt to not be out until so late every night.

"I could jus', like, knock though. Derh".

"Well, yes, but my point is that people might be asleep and therefore.."

"But I could jus', like, knock?".

Ho hum.

I repeated this exchange (I have removed the word 'conversation' from this sentence because that really doesn't pass for conversation, does it?) to Mrs Graph this evening.

"Well, it was really my fault, as I left the key in the door".

"Well, sort of, but that's not actually the point..."

"No. The point is that I have to lock the door because I don't like it left unlocked and nobody else bothers."

Not only is this entirely untrue, but I have too to marvel at the way the steppy's antisocial behaviour became my fault in just two sentences.

That's genuinely amazing.

6 April 2009

It's Only Make Believe

It seems obvious to me why singer Conway Twitty and Eraserhead actor Jack Nance were never seen in the same room together.

But does it not freak you out that Conway's biggest and best-known hit, the only number one single he had in both the US and the United Kingdom, "It's Only Make Believe" was co-written - by Conway Twitty and his drummer; Jack Nance?

5 April 2009

RomComrades in Arms

I had a conversation today with a man who decided we were expressing our "camp" sides because we were talking about romantic comedies. I tried to convince him that we would more likely be talking of musical cinema if we were so doing, but he wasn't certain; and he being in the Navy, I decided that perhaps I was wrong and he knew more of the matter than I.

But it got me to thinking about RomComs to avoid. High amongst those not to peruse, I would hold "Return To Me", in which David Duchovny's brilliant zoologist wife, played by Joely Richardson, dies in a car accident, soon after a glittering celebration of her genius. Her heart is rushed to save the life of the ailing Minnie Driver (for completeness this is a British female actor; NOT the chauffeur of the small, squarish, economical British car which runs down Joely Richardson, brutally slaying her), in turn desperately in need of a transplant.

It's called "Return To Me". I think you can guess where it goes after that.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

My brother - a well-known little-known writer - disliked 'Truly, Madly, Deeply'; as he didn't care about the central characters.

I disagreed, though I was unhappy with it because I felt that the end was all wrong. Any genuinely romantic conclusion would have had Juliet Stevenson's character TOP HERSELF in order to be with the Ghost of Alan Rickman.


We wholly agree though, that 'Love Actually' is just fucking shite.

3 April 2009

Yakult Symbols

Which reminds me... What is it with the ever-decreasing spelling of the word Yoghurt? Huh?

I just don't get it. Well, I mean I do; I have it delivered and keep it in the fridge, but I mean I don't understand the issue of the ever-diminishing name for the dairy product. Obviously.

In the UK it used to be spelt YOGHOURT.

Now, the spelling YOGHURT is used. Some folks in the States spell it the same way.

But the version with no 'H' is increasingly popular in stores all over. YOGURT.

So far so good. If you like that sort of thing. Which I don't.

So where will it end up?

Looked at properly we could save yet more shelf space, by simply removing the 'U' - Yogrt... No problemo. "Yoggert". Easy.


Maybe we can go further. Let's take the 'O' out! Ygrt! That still works (although it may be slightly changed in terms of pronunciation. More "Yuggert", I guess.

Hell, let's go the whole hog, and get it down to Ygt.

"Yuggut". Works just tootin'.

Food for fuckwits. Coming to a small town near you.

Havarti-a, you varmint!

Havarti cheese. Now, there's an interesting thing.

Marvellous in bagels, especially with something like Chorizo. Slightly nutty, and yet somehow creamy and bland at the same time.

It is surprisingly not Finnish, although it self-evidently should be.

And it is "named after the experimental Danish farm on which it was first produced".

That's an "experimental farm". In Denmark. Is it just me or is that not weirdly sinister? I imagine now that it was invented and is produced by the victims of extraordinary rendition, retained behind electric fences in the most remote part of Zealand.

An exper-emmental farm.

2 April 2009

Smells Like White Spirit...

You see, they just feel the need to run their mouths off, don't they? Fools, that is. And their many subsets... The immature. Children. Teenagers. Racists.

You hear it all the time with teenagers. They'll be in the middle of a reasonably ordinary conversation about a third party (not present) when they simply splurt some complete and utter nonsense.

"Yeah, and, like, maybe he had, like, porridge in his eye!"

This is followed by that hideous snuffling, self-regarding giggle they feel they have to do.

Fnnnuffff, fnnnufff, fnnnufff. Fnnnuffff, fnnnufff, fnnnufff.

Bwarrrhhaarrhaarr. Bwarrrhaarrhaarr. Bwarrhaarrhaar.

This last bit, the very loud 'bwarharhars', is, by the way, entirely for the sake of ensuring that everyone - and I mean everyone - who might be within earshot (usually on the bus) understands that they have just said THE SINGLE FUNNIEST THING ANYBODY HAS EVER SAID.


It then stands to be repeated several times.

"Like, porridge. In his eye".

More bwarharhars. Until eventually the grim reality sets in; they realise that they are not at all amusing, and they shut the fuck up.

But really they're just waiting for the next chance to say THE SINGLE FUNNIEST THING etc....

There is allegedly an Australian politician who has made some ludicrous public statement about how he would treat terror suspects. He uses overtly racist language, and would - he claims, bravely - use a car battery for the purpose of torturing people.

Bwarharhars. Many. And sadly not all his own.

He's gone quiet now, through (presumably) the same kind of embarrassment that the teenager suffers, I would hope. The embarrassment which comes with that horrible realisation of one's own awful mundanity.

But he's only really waiting for his next chance to say the single stupidest thing anybody has ever said.

29 March 2009

Persuade head.

On a coach the other day I saw a young man, maybe in his late twenties, who was startling to behold.

A classic late-70s skinhead look. Twelve or fifteen-hole Doc Martens; jeans in a classic, unbleached, bold blue with the bottoms tightly folded up to ankle height; a white Fred Perry shirt under a spectacular Harrington jacket with the authentic tartan lining; sideburns, and - best of all - the required red braces, worn down, hanging around his arse. Genius.

He did seem to have slightly mixed his genres, as he was carrying a small satchel hung by a shoulder strap upon which he, or persons unknown had written the words, "NO FUN - NO FUTURE".

No fun. No future.

He had a leaflet for IKEA in his jeans back pocket.

18 March 2009

The question is, 'do you have a thing about bats, Mr Wayne?'

God Almighty. The elder steppy has just come back from seeing 'Watchmen' at the cinema.

"What did you make of it?" asked I.

"Fnrrrfff shnerf shnuffy nerfff", she said.

She mumbles. Usually with her hand over her mouth; so lip-reading is ruled out too. It's a result, not of shyness, but of massive laziness. She just can't be arsed to speak properly, as it would take too much energy to move her face that much.

Anyway, apparently, if you ask three times the magic spell works and translates "Fnrrrfff shnerf shnuffy nerfff" as "It was all right, like, I suppose".

"Only 'all right'"? I wonder.

"Well, yeah, like, I din't get why that bloke's mask kept, like, moving and that".

"What do you think Rorschach's mask is?" I ventured, almost afraid to ask.

"Well, it's like, just a piece of, like, old cloth, innit?"

"Why would it have those shapes though?" Oh, I am so much the pedagogue now...

"Well, it's, like, ink and that."

"But why?"


I explain, and wonder aloud how an eighteen year old can never have heard of a Rorschach Test.

"I suppose I, like, have and that, but it's like, you know, one of them words I have, like, heard, but not known what it was".

"And were you never once moved to find out what it meant on those occasions when you have heard it?"

"Cun't be, like, bothered, and that."

I think someone once used the term 'fuckwit'.

7 March 2009

Not the steps we take; those we send...

I am listening to Laura Veirs. The truth is that Laura isn't all that good. There are several rather better at what she does than Laura, sadly (for her).

And I am planning how best to spend a week away from home, with what will likely be unlikely people in a place where there is nothing else to do.

Laura Veirs is not the answer, although the new Howling Bells album might be.

I have just tried in the briefest possible manner (attention spans of 18 year olds being what they are) to explain to my steppy that going off to University on the basis of moving in with her father is a big mistake. Not because of him, although I think there is an issue there - what with him being a complete dickhead and all - but because the WHOLE POINT is not living wth parents, surely??

So that'll guarantee he gets her as a lodger then...