Category Archives: Life

The Muckery

a work in progress, an immediate response to the need to get something down…

Great wealth

of shit

the world

and we,

the exalted

denizens of dung,

go beetling,

beetling –

till,

our private portion

of

the brooding mass

at last

delivered

to the

rank

heights of heaven,

We —

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Analog Africa Got Me In Deep DooDoo

Check Them Out. This song is seriously chilled:

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In Short

What is life

After all –

A bawl.

A blip.

A bleep.

The chance to sleep

After all —

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PANTYLINERS

Just discovered what pantyliners actually are, having gone through life thinking they belonged to that mysterious and blessed netherworld of male fantasy where women of course got up in the morning and without a moment’s thought put on thongs, suspenders and fine, lacy things with fine French names, instead I now learn that they belong to that cold and brutal world of male reality filled with ever-expanding knickers, high-waisted items which are simply girdles by any other name and without irony given names like Spanx and then, as if to seal matters,  covered up by velure sweatpants with JUICY (dis)splayed across the arse.

Geez, what a rough day to be alive!

The Truth Hurts And Is Sometimes Wet

The Truth Hurts And Is Sometimes Wet

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Stand Up For Your Right

I tell you, it really takes a special type of idiocy to see a long line of people all standing on the right of an escalator and still park yourself blindly on the left.

I mean, what goes through these people’s mind?

Do they stand dumbfounded (with the emphasis squarely on the dumb), looking on it as some sort of miraculous defiance of the laws of probability, asking themselves how is it that given the same random 50/50 choice between right and left that a series of 100 unconnected, free-willed individuals have all, one after the other and without variation, plumped for the right?

Or do they stand there stupefied (with the emphasis squarely on the stupid) thinking “why did my guide book mention the British love of tea, but not this totally crazy thing they’ve got for standing on the right?”, but feeling no need to examine the phenomenon any further, chalking it up instead to just another one of those quaint, twee things that are so endlessly charming about the English and their small island ways and which will, no doubt, feature in the next Hugh Grant documentary (please God let it be soon!), analysed fully in a family-friendly yet in-depth manner.

Well, these people who insist on standing to the left are, as the Spanish say, about as useful as the proverbial zero occupying the same position.

In fact, they’re less so, considerably less so.

And yet the great irony is that it’s they – immune to all common sense and evolved so entirely separately from the rest of all other intelligent lifeforms as they are – it’s they and not the cockroaches who shall be the true survivors of the nuclear holocaust.

Of course, it’s probably them who’ll start the nuclear holocaust in the first place. Bloody Cretins!

P.S. (Post-scream)

While I am talking (ranting) about animals, let me also say that mothers who choose to travel on the Tube with their whole progeny in tow should really take a leaf out of the humble duck’s book, and lead their begats in single file rather than zig-zagging shoulder to shoulder with the little scrotes  (sorry, scrotal issues) in a way that must be calculated to cause the most frustration humanly possible by always leaving a gap just a fraction too small to actually pass around, at least not without whacking one of the indistinguisable spawn in the head  – which it seems society – for some reason – continues to frown upon.

So please Yummy Mummies, do as the duck does, as she alone among the animal kingdom stands possessed with a truly socialist and enlightened sense of time-space economy.

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Transports of Joy

Today as I spent my Sunday just like I seem to spend all my Sundays, standing around at some forgotten bus stop waiting desperately for some non-show bus, it occurred to me that the female orgasm is a lot like a bus: you wait and you wait and you wait for one to come AND THEN…

…you get tired of putting your finger up.

20120930-155805.jpg

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My Favourite Bit Of Toilet Graffiti

My Favourite Bit Of Toilet Graffiti

I’m loving this bit of toilet graffiti I saw today.

I tell you, the world’s alright with me as long as there are still people who can get angry enough at a lack of soap to actually scrawl their protest onto a toilet wall.

And I like to think the arrow was completely unplanned, a streak of pure fury that just flew out the end of his pen before he even knew he was doing it. Cos that arrow is basically the equivalent of pointing and screaming, ‘LOOK! THAT F***ING BASTARD THERE!’, when there’s clearly only one other person in the room.

What makes this even better is that somebody else has decided to pick him up on the double negative. I don’t know if you can make it out, but they’ve crossed out the ‘No’ and then written ‘Any’ next to it and in brackets (Bad Grammar). Now I’m a stickler for (Good Grammar), but even I wouldn’t bother to correct someone who’d basically decided mid-hand washing to take out a pen and stage a protest in a dingy, piss-reeking toilet, thus essentially converting myself into someone who decides to take out a pen mid-hand washing and stage a protest in a dingy, piss-reeking toilet. No, I much prefer to go home, sit at my desk in the sweet swirl of potpourri and write an aloof commentary about the whole thing from my MacBook Air where I can rest my much overused wrists on a pleasant cushiony type thing. That’s much more my style.

p.s. I do have to say that the final thing I love about this is that there was actually soap in the dispenser. So whether this guy meant it or not, with the double negative it was quite simply a perfectly accurate and factual description of the soap situation in that particular toilet. This guy’s not a vandal, he’s a public informant! I’d take my hat off to him but my wrists kinda hurt.

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Trail Finders.

So, I was sick all weekend, not man-flu, but genuinely (and stoically I might add) sick.

From my designated sickbed (a far greater preponderance of black than my normal one), I actually managed to have a really interesting day yesterday.

It was one of those days where one interesting fact leads you on to another and then another and then another, until you find you’ve been wandering for hours and are quite faraway from home.

Well, I thought it’d be interesting to retrace my footsteps and map my journey, detours and all down this little rabbit-hole.

Radio 4 Saturday Play: Terence Rattigan’s In Praise of Love — Radio 4 three-part series The Rattigan Versions — BBC Four documentary The Rattigan Enigma with Benedict Cumberbatch –What John Gielgud was caught and fined £10 for cottaging in 1953! — Wikipedia, please, what’s the origin of the term ‘cottaging’ –Victorian common name for public toilets designed like cottages — That’s a shame. Hoped it had something to do with cottage cheese — Wikipedia, tell me the history of Polari. Any cottage cheese there? — Oh look blagger, clobber and drag all come from Polari and hahaha willets means boobies — Google Images WILLETS — Oh wait, Safe Search Off. Google Images WILLETS — Urghh Universities Minister and birds of the entirely avian sort — Wikipedia: Phillipines Swardspeak — Theives’ Cant — Daily Mail: “Convicts use ye olde Elizabethan slang to smuggle drugs past guards into prison” — Justice Department issue national alert to all prison staff and Elizabethan slang handbook — The history of undeground Argentine Lunfardo — ‘Verse‘, Spanish syllable-based backslang — Jeringonza, Opamaparipi — Bollocks what’s that word which means inserting one word inside another — Right, Google , what can you do with Abso-bloody-lutely + term + grammar? — Damn Google, you good. Tmesis — And Wikipedia, what do you have to say about Tmesis? — John O’ Grady’s Australian poem ‘Tumba Bloody Rumba’ — Ok, that was a bit shite — What else you got Wikipedia? — Hello, Stephen Fry says tmesis is his favourite of all tropes, interesting. And a link too. Don’t mind if I do — Stephen Fry talks at the Border Kitchen in Holland — Stephen Fry is Jewish?! — ‘Unbe-fucking-lievably’ — Oh look Radio 4 has a new word-based panel show, WordAholics and Stephen’s on the first show — Right, that was bo-goldie-locks — BBC 2 Fry’s Planet World: Episode One Babel — Awesome! — Radio 4 Fry’s English Delight: Language of Persuasion — I wonder what NPL courses there are — Oh look, there’s a free weekend one – And now you’re my slave!

Being a man, of course what I left out in all of that was the male constant which isn’t so much a journey as a hamster wheel for a particularly small hamster:

Sex — Balls — Food — Sex — Thirsty — Itchy Balls — Sex — Itchy Balls and Arse — Ah-Ah-Ah, Gonna Sneeze, Achoo! — That didn’t feel like an eighth of an orgasm — Snot — So still need to clean up then — No Tissue — Sleeeve?–Sleeve! — Need Sleep Now.
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The Griping Hour

Right, it’s gripe time.

I don’t say again, as even though I do make a habit – nay an art – of griping, I haven’t griped here on this blog yet.  So, here’s to breaking my cherry then.

And a very succulent and glazed cherry it is too.

Today’s gripe, my dear readers, is on grammar and speech and, in particular, the gross and heinous mistakes all too often made in their use.

So, here’s your list – well, my list but I’m sure you’ll want to claim its brilliance as your own:

Right, I’ll get the most obvious clangers out of the way first:

Literally: Come on, don’t say this unless what you’re saying should actually be taken literally and not, in fact, figuratively, which is the case 99.9% of the time.

To Be Fair: To whom? That’s what I always think. To what invisible person or to what fragile essence are you so mindful of being fair? It’s no different from phrases like ‘No offence’, ‘Don’t get me wrong’ and ‘That being said’, all it does is undermine everything you say. Simply say what you mean and mean what you say, then be done with it. And when you are done with it please don’t be tempted to say ‘at the end of the day’.

You know what I mean/You get me: I wonder…at what point exactly do you think I might have lost you?

Like: I’m guilty of this too but it’s a meaningless filler. Half the time it’s used there’s nothing being compared and the other half it’s not like the thing, it is the thing, there’s simply no comparison.

Try/Come And + Verb: This one even creeps into formal writing. I’ve seen it in newspapers, magazines and books – everywhere. But it’s really slack. If you say ‘try and see me when you can’ what you’re actually saying is ‘try me and see me when you can’. It should be Try/Come To.

Existential: Arrghh, it’s ridiculous how overused this word is, usually by Gap Yah types who’ve never read a line of Descartes or Sartre or any of the existentialists in their empirically unverifiable lives. But at least they do their level best to pronounce their names with something approximating a French accent. There is that.

Among these people it’s quite unconscionable to think of saying the word ‘existential’ without following it up with its firm bosom-buddy ‘crisis’ . Indeed, it would seem these people are so often forced to question the very nature of their existence and stare down the barrel of the very greatest of ontological questions it’s a wonder they find the time to live at all. And yet, they do – somehow they do.

Disassociate: Disassociate isn’t a word. It’s dissociate. Just get it right really. Simple(s).

Basically: Basically, this is just overused and gets on my tits.

Actually: Like basically this is actually really used way too much. It should actually stop.

Pre-prepared: Prepared already means that  – readied in advance! Why are you sticking another ‘pre-‘  on there? You wouldn’t do it with predetermine, prejudge, or preexist, just because you don’t pronounce the ‘pre’ in prepared as a prefix don’t be fooled.

Pressurised: As far as I’m concerned this should be reserved for technical situations, e.g. when a gas is pumped into a container to increase the internal pressure. When you’re using pressurise to say putting pressure on humans it just sounds ugly. For that we have pressured.

Definately: No more subtle attempts to correct people who write this to me in emails and text messages. They seem determined not to learn from my better example. Even though I deliberately respond with the word spelt correctly, they categorically fail to get the hint. So here it is as plain as a bludgeon: definitely is spelt thus. Piss off with that ‘a’!

Disinterested: People keep on saying disinterested when they mean uninterested. Disinterested doesn’t mean bored or unbothered, that’s uninterested. Disinterested means without bias. A disinterested party is an impartial party.

Reactionary: Ok, this isn’t the same as reactive, which is what most people seem to want to say when they use this word. Reactionary is almost the opposite of reactive. It  means somebody who resists reaction, someone who opposes all changes to the status quo.

February Eighteen: Urghh and Urghh again. This is such a horrible Americanism which seems to have wormed its way into the UK through over-dramatic Hollywood film trailers. No Mr Overly-Excited Voiceover Man the film won’t be in cinemas on February Eighteen but on February the Eighteenth. Maybe you think and want us to think that by removing the ‘the’  it’ll come sooner. Well it won’t. The time-space continuum forbids it.

Jew-Lie: It was James Brown who once sang Please, Please, Please I think. Well, please, please, please can we stop pronouncing the beautiful month of July (the month of my birth no less) as the denouncement of a mendacious Sephardi?

Progrom: O you really, really shouldn’t be pronouncing programme like this. You also don’t want to be spelling it program.

Youmans: Not how you pronounce humans – so, hey, how about you just stop it.

Quicker: Ok, this is probably my biggest bugbear of all. Oh the amount of times I’ve shouted at the TV over this one. Absolutely everyone seems to get this wrong even those be(k)nighted bastions of proper speech over at Radio 4. What I’m referring to is how people say ‘Get there quicker’. It should be ‘Get there more quickly‘, just as it would be ‘It’s a quick journey to get there’, but ‘He got there quickly.’ It’s the difference between the adjective and the adverb – adjectives describe nouns, while adverbs describe verbs. But for some mysterious reason everybody seems to forget this rule as soon as the sentence becomes comparative. And so you get ‘Get there quicker’, ‘Do it easier’ and ‘Speak louder’ which simply makes my heart ache and my eyes weep.

A real-life example: the travelagent Ebookers currently has a campaign slogan which runs…

Book easier, travel happier

So, there’s no doubt it should be Book more easily. You could argue that ‘travel happier’ is alright though, as the happier could be said to refer to the traveller, rather than specifically to the act of travelling. But I suspect that it doesn’t and so it should be Travel more happily.

***

And there endeth the lesson. I hope the cherry has been most delectable.

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Wilde Conjecture

Every word that ever left my mouth was well considered. By me because I said it and by society precisely because they could not.